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     Why the Reapers' cycle works 
  • It just bugs me how the Reapers' cycle is a giant Xanatos Roulette, and yet it works. What happens if an extremely xenophobic race comes along, and the first thing they do when they find the Citadel is to blow it to little bits? When they find out that there was no one on it, they don't care. Cycle ended.
    • The Citadel is impossible to destroy by any tech prior to that of the Reapers'. Attacking it just causes the Citadel to close up, and if the Citadel is attacked while no one is inside, the Reaper vanguard will likely send a signal to the Keepers telling them to open up and let the Reapers show up early. And if someone did manage to destroy the Citadel, there is absolutely nothing to stop the Reapers from letting out a collective shrug, invading conventionally, and rebuilding it. Besides, is a species is xenophobic enough to destroy the Citadel, they're xenophobic enough to destroy the Mass Relays as well, and thus aren't exactly going to be going anywhere at FTL.
      • The FTL point is basically what i said but anyway two points it never said that there wasn't another method of FTL that was better and the keepers wouldnt have opened up the relay because of the protheans.
      • That point is moot. If a race is using the Mass Relays, it's because they haven't developed their own method of FTL travel. If they have, then once again, they'd have technology advanced enough to threaten the Reapers in the first place. So, again, if that were possible, then the Reapers would have bigger problems.
      • The keepers thing is an irrelevant point; the Protheans were the first to do that in the first place, and Soveriegn figured that issue out when it came time to activate the relay. You're positing that a species that came along before the Protheans might have somehow been xenophobic enough to attack the Citadel even when there's nothing on it and it's the perfect place to establish a government, being a hub world and all. As pointed out above, the Citadel is tough and the Reapers can both invade conventionlly and rebuild it if destroyed, and that's positing that the Citadel won't defend itself by closing up and the vanguard won't send a signal calling the Reapers in early. The Citadel is useful as a first-strike tool, but it's far from the only tool in the Reapers' bag.
    • The Reaper's cycle worked because they made damn sure that none of the races could learn from any of the previous ones. Sapients take everything at face value because they have no other option: the Reapers are very thorough. They either utterly destroy or enslave the civilzation of the day and use things like the Keepers as maintenence to ensure that no in-depth study can occur. People may know that the previous civilzations existed, but they'd just assume that they were somehow advanced enough to set up all this convenient technology and mysteriously dissappeared. The only reason the trap didn't work this time is because the staff of the Illos facility went out of their way to sabotage as much as possible. Even then, it was sheer luck that Shepard got both the beacons and the foremost historian in the galaxy. It's a simple trap, but prepared well enough to leave almost no chance of escape.
      • Now that I think about it, it's horribly dumb for the Asari, Protheans and whatnot to put the siege of their government in a technologically advanced place that they absolutely don't understand. The codex say that the core of the citadel is still unexplored. For all they know, there may be a giant ticking timebomb right under their ass...and technically, before the protheans sabotage it, there was. It would be like constructing the white house over a structuraly weak giant cavern, because no one ever bothered to say "Hey, we should maybe verify that the place is safe before putting all our gobernment there." I mean, they should probably have treated the Citadel as an archeological site, loot the shit out of it, taking the time to fully understand the technology, then use it.
      • That's the thing: the keepers are there to ensure that doesn't happen. The keepers teach the races how to use the Citadel at face-value, showing them how to settle in and use the structural defenses so that they can learn in days or weeks what they would otherwise spend months, years, or even decades figuring out on their own. Furthermore, you have to remember that the way the entire trap works, every race that arrives at the Citadel has already been trained to steal ancient technology for themselves. Every race that spans the relay network has been conditioned to use whatever scraps they've been left behind, so by the time they get to the Citadel, their entire culture is being shaped by the Reapers' desires.
      • Imagine, you stumbled on a nigh-invincible technological marvel out in a well-protected, convenient area of space. You obviously see the value of your find and know that if any rival attempted to claim it, you'd have no hope of forcing them out. Naturally, you'd want to keep up a constant guard to ensure that doesn't happen. Over the years, your research and military stations would likely become permanent. Following that, civilians would like to stay on this safe, constantly maintained space-paradise. Fast forward several centuries and you've got yourself the seat of civilization in a structure you comprehend just enough to live comfortably in. As long as the Keepers keep things running smooth, the average citizen couldn't care less where their home came from and government officials would likely be too paranoid of damaging the station to allow any random idiot to poke around the station's inner workings on an unsubstantiated fairy tale. After all, you've lived there for centuries. If something was wrong, you'd know by now, right? The Citadel is Schmuck Bait, but it's very well-prepared Schmuck Bait.
      • I may be a little paranoid myself, but what I don't understand is why nobody, except maybe Matriach bartender, nobody ever wondered "Wait, why exactly those little fuckers are helping us?" While the previous explaination is probably valid...I don't know, am I the only one to keep an extra eye out for whoever is super nice with me? Beyond that, does nobody before Chorban ever got a flash a curiosity about those buggers? Because he sent me a mail in-game, and anybody who would have done the same research he did would have quickly figured something was very wrong. So, they disolve when you try to catch them? Okay, now that kind of thing would make anyone with a modicum of common sense ask "Wait, why are they disolving? Do they have something to hide? If not, why waste a good keeper everytime someone bump into it? And again, what the fuck is in the Citadel core?" They've been living on this goddamn station for millenia, and nobody ever lifted his ass out of the sofa to try and go there? Or did they try once, see it was locked and were all "oh, forget it". Those lazy morons deserve what is coming, someone give Harbinger a call and tell him to hurry up.
      • Again, why bother? The keepers are virtually impossible to scan with conventional technology; it took two thousand-plus years of development before any medical scanner came along that could begin to analyze them. Sure, people were probably initially suspicious of the keepers, but as years and years and years and years passed with them literally doing nothing but helping them, suspicion likely began to fade. They're essentially bio-organic versions of maintenance drones, and these people have been dealing with them for two thousand years without the slightest hint of deviation or oddity. And in case you didn't realize it, two thousand years is a long damn time. After a century, at best, no one would begin to even suspect them of foul play. And people did try to get inside the Citadel's core to figure out what the keepers were up to, but the Citadel's core is sealed and impenetrable and built out of Reaper technology. As pointed out above, they probably couldn't breach and enter the core with their current technology - not without destroying the Citadel. And lest we forget, the Citadel is dealing with a whole hell of a lot of issues much more relevant to them than investigating these weird, benevolent aliens who are apparently bio-mechanical drones that have been maintaining the station for millennia without fail or deviation; e.g. Rachni Wars, Krogan Rebellions, Terminus Systems, and so on and so forth. Investigating the strange-yet-benevolent bio-drones who are essential to keeping the station working is probably low on the Council's priority list.
      • There could also be an element of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" to it : all galactic civilization depends on the Mass Relays to function, and on the Citadel to some extent as well. ALL of it. And nobody knows or understands how they work, beyond the evident "well... there's a mass effect going on, only better than regular ones". Why is it better ? No idea. What's powering them up ? Beats me. Why are some active and some inactive ? We'll get back to you on that. Who set them up, why, and why set them up that way ? Your guess is as good as anyone's. So, since nobody really knows how it all works, they also can't know how it could * stop* working, and are most probably terrified by the eventuality. If the Keepers are there, and were before we even got here, then maybe they're essential to the entire Mass Relay network. Maybe the whole thing would shut down if anyone tried futzing around the Citadel's core, etc... hence the slew of Council restrictions against messing with the Keepers. The Council has in essence elevated "don't look a gift horse in the mouth" into a freaking doctrine.
      • Two points: First, nobody researches the Keepers because it's illegal to do so. You're not allowed to interfere with them in any way. Presumably, anyone who did question the Keepers' motives got over it when nothing happened in the Citadel for centuries. Eventually the people who lived in the station realized they had no way of controlling or maintaining the station on their own, the little green people did a bang-up job for no pay, and decided to enforce that system legally. Second, IIRC the Council on the Citadel isn't actually the government of those species, they are just the ambassadors. So the Citadel would be more analogous to a heavily-fortified United Nations than the White House. If the United Nations fell into a hypothetical chasm, it would suck, but it wouldn't drop everything into chaos because the people who work there aren't the actual leadership of the nations they represent. The loss of the Citadel to Sovereign would be a body blow because it's basically the Hub of space, not because of the loss of the individuals on it.
    • The Citadel single-handedly represents galatic power: the first species to control is a nigh-indestructible fortress right next to a nexus relay, core to interstellar communications, travel, and discussion. If a xenophobic species see the thing and avoids it, someone else will pick it up and take over. This might have happened already if the rachni ever had an exploratory time period.
    • The entire Reaper Gambit works because there's practically nothing the galaxy races could do about it even if they knew. If they tried to destroy the Citadel, they'd obviously fail as the thing is nigh-indestructible; the thing survived a Reaper's explosion and if the Citadel's tougher than a Mass Relay, which can survive a supernova to a face, then you're pretty much screwed. If they abandoned it and didn't live there, it wouldn't matter, as the Keepers would send the Reaper signal anyway and this would actually give the Reapers a chance for a devastating surprise attack. And if they DID live on the Citadel, again, it wouldn't matter, as that would just deal galactic civilization a crushing blow as the Reapers seize control and launch a surprise attack. The only thing the galaxy could possibly do is kill the Keepers, except nobody knows in-story that there's anything suspicious about them and the Keepers are needed, whether that's to keep the millions living on the Citadel alive or keep the tech on the station intact in case some paranoid xenophobic past-galaxy decided to swallow their pride and use alien science.
    • Here's another thought: The Reapers don't extinguish everything. They do leave behind a little evidence of prior civilizations — just enough that the new starfaring civilizations can evolve along the right path. So, Asari start exploring nearby with less-than-light-speed travel and they discover the first Prothean ruins. And lookie-here. The Protheans were an advanced race, and they had art and culture and song and all that good stuff. Surely they can't be bad, right? So you might as well learn from and use the artifacts they left behind. By the time you get to the Citadel, you learn there was once this great starfaring civilization that suddenly disappeared, as many civilizations seem to do ... and they left behind this great capital. Why not use it? On Earth, we do something similar. Even when an old civilization has fallen, we'll continue to use its roads and buildings if they suit us. I mean, what are the chances that the old Roman roads were laid by a genocidal alien species??
      • It's not the same. First, while the Empire may no longer exist, Rome wasn't completely wiped out. It's still there. Romans are living there. Second, people didn't come across long-abandoned Roman roads and decide to start using them again, they continued to use them even after the fall of the Empire. Third, historical records show what happened to Rome. It's a bit patchy in places, and obviously anything that happened in the distant past has a chance of not being described accurately, but it's not a mystery why there isn't a Roman Empire anymore. It is (ostensibly) a mystery why there's no more Prothean Empire.
    • Who's to say that that's not exactly what happened at one point or another? The Protheans were wiped out about forty-five thousand years before the asari discovered the Citadel. All we know about the time between the Prothean Extinction and the arrival of the asari is that no species set up a permanent place on the Citadel. That doesn't mean that no other species found it. Maybe, as you suggest, they decided not to set up a colony on an unknown space station when there are perfectly serviceable planets spanning the galaxy. Maybe they did set up a place, but died out of non-Reaper-related illnesses and the Keepers shoved any evidence of them into the protein vats. Maybe the asari or salarians killed them and covered up the evidence. It's only a Xanatos Roulette if you only get one spin of the wheel. The Reapers measure time in eons; they get all the spins they need, and sooner or later, it's going to land on their number.
  • I'm shocked and dismayed that no-one's suggested this yet: Indoctrination. If the Reapers have the cthulhuesque ability to dream in your minds, why not set a basic emitter of the same sort that, rather than turning people into slaves, just plants the suggestion into their heads to "Trust the Keepers and Trust the Citadel"?
    • Because it is explained in the codex that constant exposure the indoctrination causes irreversible psychosis and brain damage. If the Asari claimed the citadel, and the entire population started going insane after a few years, I'd imagine they'd say "fuck it", erect a bunch of warning beacons, and stay away.
    • In addition, such things have happened in human history so at least from a human standpoint, it would potentially work. Quite a number of places are built upon the ruins (or otherwise) of cities past.
    • I'm shocked and dismayed that people keep suggesting "Person or Group of Persons A was indoctrinated" as the answer to everything.
      • Because the Council's idiocy is so unfathomable that if they're not indoctrinated, every Citadel race has something a lot more potent than fluoride in their drinking water. Everybody is scratching their heads as to how Bio Ware is going to write their way out of that plot element.
      • It's pretty fathomable for me. Just about every decision they make is justifiable under the grounds of 1. they're politicians and 2. there has never been any concrete evidence for Sovereign being anything more than a terrifyingly powerful Geth or Precursor warship the Geth and the traitor Saren used. They're not being idiotic by not flying off on a wild goose chase because of deranged accusations of EldritchAbominations that only the really crazy witnesses (technically, people who've been indoctrinated) can support.
      • "There has never been any concrete evidence" because they don't want to believe - they haven't really looked for evidence, rather, they just handwaved it for the sake of maintaining the illusion of stability. Plus, come on, they know tons about the protheans who died out 50 000 years ago, and that's from scraps of evidence discovered on derelict capsules, abandoned facilities on uncharted worlds and obliterated colonies, here we're talking about the friggin capital of galactic civilization. However many people were "combing the wards for their dead", if the Council wanted to know - they'd know.
      • How would they know? A mass extinction 50,000 years ago doesn't prove that EldritchAbominations killed everyone. How do you prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Reapers exist? You need more to present such a case than "I saw it in a dream and really crazy people agree with me!" There is nothing to support that Sovereign wasn't just one exceptionally powerful Geth warship, and that the threat died with him. The Reapers are a wild and unsupportable allegation at the moment, and it's going to take hard evidence of their existence that excludes alternative explanations before they'll be proveable.
      • Maybe i didn't use the right words, I'm not trying to argue that there is irrefutable evidence that the Reapers exist and the Council is turning a blind eye, i'm trying to argue that the Council refuses to even concieve for a second that the Reapers may exist. Sure, they can't "know", not really, without seeing what Shepard's seen, but here you have the person into whom you put enough trust to appoint them a Spectre in the first place, who is primarily responsible for saving the seat of your entire government, including your own lives (if applicable); sure, you can reason that publicly announcing "The beings that wiped out the protheans is coming for us!" would cause mass hysteria and generally be a mistake, but privately, refusing to even doubt it is foolish. We're talking not only about their own existance, but that of the entire galaxy, all those people that they're supposed to represent and protect. Even if it was "highly probable" that the Reapers didn't exist they should be paranoid anyway. It's their job. Take a look at real life, or use your common sense - when some government building recieves a bomb threat what do they do? They don't go "Meh, there's absolutely no evidence that there's a bomb, just some wacko on the phone yelling at us." They get the civilians out of harm's way, then they verify the threat. Of course there's the snafu with Saren - one of their best Spectres attacking the Citadel - which would probably undermine the Council's trust in that system, and a resurrected one working alongside a known terrorist group wouldn't be the most trustworthy face in the galaxy, but i stand by my opinion that the Council should've at least given Shepard the benefit of the doubt.
      • Instead of a bomb threat, I would equate the situation to anyone coming out and announcing that aliens are coming to Earth to destroy it, and we need to do something to stop them. Ask yourself what the government (any government) would do with said information. The exact same thing (if not less) than what the council has done. That the Council is even allowing Shepard to continue to go on his own in an effort to prevent a Reaper invasion, rather than locking him up, is a testament to how much leeway the Council is willing to give him. That they don't do more is not all that far-fetched. Unless you agree that the aliens are coming and the US is cutting NASA's budget in an effort to allow them to take over easier...
      • I'm sure the alien invasion threat would be taken just as seriously as the bomb threat, if the White House (or UN or whatever you want to equate the council to) was located on a Black Box alien space station.
      • Thank you! Finally someone that puts it all in context. You can't judge the Council's actions from our perspective, only by their own standards.
      • A standard-issue alien invasion, sure, but if we're raising the ante, the invasion becomes Cthulhu. And now we have "The center of galactic civilization isn't willing to spend time, money, and manpower, and risk potential serious political consequences, to investigate baseless claims that Cthulhu is going to suddenly appear out of nowhere and murder everyone," and our metaphor has ceased to be one.
      • The problem is the other side of the coin. It has to be balanced against the alternative: what if there are no Reapers? What if there is no threat? What if the entire thing is the fevered delusions of a man who got his head messed up by an old, malfunctioning beacon, and bought too heavily into enemy propaganda? What happens if they start mobilizing for war, begin pumping countless resources into churning out more and more warships in preparation for a massive galactic war that never comes, potentially triggering an actual war with the Traverse, and also potentially bankrupting their civilization for nothing? If you're going to ask them to drop everything and put all their nation's resources into preparing for war against Cthulhu, you need to be able to present pretty damn good evidence that Cthulhu really is coming. And then, even if you manage to convince them, there's still the nation. How long do you think they'll keep their positions once people start talking about how YOUR taxpayer dollar is going to fight bogeymen from Dark Space instead of towards your children's future. The last thing the galaxy needs right now is infighting. Even if they want to acknowledge your concerns, they cannot do so in an official capacity without potentially pissing off the entire galaxy. The Asari Councilor, I believe, made this point rather clear in Mass Effect 1: this is why Spectres exist. So that you can act in an unofficial capacity, where their hands are tied in an official one.
      • Sorry, starting up a new line to continue off of that because of a slight shift in point: going on about how this is why Spectres exist. The Councilors are politicians. They have to play politics. They have to make politically sound judgments that the galaxy as a whole will agree with, and they have to be very careful about everything they say or do, because as politicians, any time they so much as sneeze, three reporters are going to write a paper on it. Anything they say can be taken out of context. Anything they do can be taken out of context. But Spectres are above the law and free to use their own judgment. The Council can say, "We will not send military forces into the Traverse," and Shepard can steal a ship and go there anyway because he's above the law. They can say, "There is no evidence to support a Reaper threat. Shepard will be sweeping up the Geth," and then send Shepard after the Geth, because they have the only link to Sovereign and any further information and potential evidence will be found with them. They can say, "We do not condone working with Cerberus," and Shepard can do it anyway because he's above the law. They can say, "We will not send military into the Traverse, again, to protect colonies humanity never should have founded there," and then Shepard can go do that anyway because he's above the law. The point I'm getting at here is that the Council has to be very careful that they don't so much as breathe wrong or they're going to have a thousand reporters hounding them down, but Spectres can do what needs to be done while the Council's doing what's politically sound. If they really weren't supporting Shepard, they never would have reinstated his Spectre status.
      • Again, you're arguing against a point that nobody made. The problem isn't that the Council refuses to drop everything they're doing and prepare to fight the Reapers. The problem is that they refuse to acknowledge that there could be even the tiniest possibility that the Reapers exist. Their position is frustrating because any amount of investigation on their part would turn up evidence for the existence of the Reapers, and instead they have decided that totally ignoring and possibly even suppressing anything Reaper related is the way to go. Honestly, them playing political games is exactly the problem, so I don't see how it's a justification for anything. They made the exact same decision in Mass Effect 1, where they decided that Shepard was talking nonsense, and because there were "serious political ramifications to consider", they didn't have to do anything about Saren. It almost got them all killed (or it did get them all killed), and Shepard had to come save them from their own mistake. Shepard being right and them being wrong would, you think, at least be grounds for them to evaluate Shepard's claims instead of dismissing them out of hand, but turns out that's wrong.
      • What evidence? We weren't there for the two year timeskip; we don't know how much they did or did not investigate the attack after Sovereign was destroyed. We only know that they say, flat out, that there's no evidence to connect Sovereign to ancient bogeymen from Dark Space. You seem to be assuming that they just showed up in office the next day like nothing happened and went back about their business. What evidence would "any amount of investigation" turn up to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Cthulhu is coming to kill everyone?
      • And once more: We're not talking about "proving beyond a shadow of a doubt", we're talking about exactly the opposite - until it's proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Reapers are nonsense the Council should at least be suspicious. But instead they flat out assume that there is no way in hell Reapers exist and flat out tell Shepard (s)he's brainwashed. They cite the lack of proof that Sovereign was not a geth creation as proof that he/it/they was a geth creation. It's called "shifting the burden of proof", which in this case falls on them, not on Shepard.
      • ^^ I refuse to believe they couldn't have found even one scrap of Sovereign if they really wanted to. All they needed to do was check to see how old it was, and they would find that it was older than the geth, and older than the Protheans. That they couldn't even be bothered to do that shows how much investigation they did.
      • I disagree. That they didn't find anything doesn't mean that they didn't bother to investigate. With 2 years having passed during Shepard's "dead time," one has no idea what investigations were done. Nor to what extent those investigations occurred. Just because they found nothing does not automatically imply that no investigation was made. As for the council needing to be suspicious of something that doesn't exist, it's hard to prove a negative. In fact, it's nigh impossible. So, how's this: Prove aliens exist, and that we should prepare for them, then this troper agree the council should believe the Reapers exist (with no evidence proving such a thing), and that they should prepare for them. Because at the moment, the two scenarios are the most comparable. Both have circumstantial and anecdotal evidence, but nothing conclusive (ie hard proof) that says: This is (*insert evil*), fear it.
      • Once again, the problem isn't that they don't instantly believe you. It's that they clearly do not investigate to see that they exist. You can say "they investigated, but found nothing" all you like, it still isn't true. The Reapers do exist, and evidence can be found for their existence, so "there is no evidence" is not true. Some Batarian discovered Sovereign just floating around a planet. Saren discovered the Reapers by finding the research done on it, and then went and started working for the Reapers. Shepard stumbled onto the Reapers by finding using the Prothean beacons, then went and fought them. Cerberus discovered the Reapers by spying on Shepard's activities, and when they looked into it they found a Reaper corpse. The Shadow Broker discovered the Reapers on his own, found evidence the Collectors were working for them and started making deals with them. The Salarian STG seems to be aware of the Reapers, with Mordin paper on Indoctrination and them investigating ancient destroyed civilizations. Finding the Reapers is nowhere near impossible, and there is no reason the Council could not do it if they wanted to.
      • Batarians never found a Dreadnought-class ship, and have no idea what you're talking about; just ask them. Saren did research on the Reapers after meeting Sovereign, not before. Shepard used the beacons, but there are, currently, zero prothean beacons that indicate Reapers in existance (as the two Shepard used were destroyed). The Reaper corpse was found, sadly it's Mass Effect core was shut off, and it was lost in a Brown Dwarf, and no evidence of it's existance (beyond Shepard's or Cerberus' word) is present. The Shadow Broker used 30+ years of information gathering to deduce the likelyhood of Reapers, and the likelyhood of the Collectors working with them. The STG is aware of indoctrination, just as most species seem to be. The likelyhood of Reaper indoctrination being the only type of indoctrination in the galaxy is almost slim, as Saren was not using Sovereign itself to indoctrinate the STG team on Virmire. All "evidence" that has been claimed is either circumstantial that can be explained in some other manner, or no longer exists to be examined. Neither can actually be used as evidence to prove the Reapers exist. So, the only avenue that could "garauntee" a finding of Reapers to be real is 30+ years of info gathering. Which could be ongoing at the moment (only two years in now), and thusfar has found nothing conclusive. Or, Shepard and Liara could release every file the Shadow Broker collected, EVERY FILE, to the Council as their "proof." It's a shame they don't do it...
      • Let me try this again: A Batarian found Sovereign floating around a planet. The Council actually had pieces of Sovereign to study, and supposedly couldn't find anything. There are more Prothean beacons in existence than just those two, you find another one in Mass Effect 2. The Reaper corpse was still around when the Council was "investigating" the Reapers, that it was later destroyed doesn't change that they could have found it if they tried. And they should have at least as much access to information on the Reapers as the Shadow Broker, considering their position and that Shepard tells them about a bunch of Reaper related stuff they could investigate. Sure, this stuff may not conclusively prove everything Shepard said to be the truth, but looking into it would confirm that the conclusions they hold now about Sovereign are completely wrong, and they can't even be bothered to do that. And honestly, the attitude of: "Either you must PROVE 100% GUARANTEED that that every single thing you say is true, or we will ignore you completely" is rather stupid when their own explanation for events has even more holes in it than Shepard's, and they have a habit of being wrong.
      • It's assumed, by us, after seeing the report of Batarians supposedly finding an organic/robotic ship, then the organic/robotic ship disappears, and it turns out Sovereign is a organic/robotic ship. There is no evidence that said ship was Sovereign. Only circumstantial evidence (no matter how likely it may be). And after it disappears, no Batarian claims to have found any dreadnought-class ship. Rather, they claim that they never found any ship at all, and it's all a lie. The council may have had pieces of Sovereign, but how much is enough to prove that said ship is more than just an advanced ship? It certainly wasn't the amount they recieved. Just because they cannot find every piece doesn't mean they didn't look for every piece. Salvagers tore the place a part looking for pieces of Sovereign, and you can bet that the Alliance, Turians, STG, and Asari (not to mention Cerberus and other nefarious organizations) each have pieces of the ship. But will any of them tell the others that? Not likely. Thus the Council does not have enough to claim that Sovereign was anything more than an advanced geth ship. The Reaper corpse has been around for quite a while, true, but it should be pointed out that to find it, one has to assume the target, the beam that glanced off Klendragon was aimed at, is still there after 37 million years(a rather bold one if one doesn't believe in Reapers). Looking into the ideas that Shepard may be right is all fine and good, but when one comes down to it, Shepard has not produced even the slightest bit of proof for even the smallest of his claims, and looking into the materials that are present provide alternate theories as to their presence. Finally, one should remember that there are no holes in the Council's story as, at the moment, the Reapers don't exist. Occam's Razor can apply in-game as well. The simplest theory to available evidence is that Shepard is a lunatic and making everything up, as there has been no evidence provided to show that he is right...
      • Okay, what the hell are you talking about? What part of "a batarian found Sovereign" don't you understand? And no, it didn't vanish, Saren found it after he killed the batarian. Honestly, this is like talking to a wall. What part of "check to see Sovereign's age" is impossible to carry out? If you continually ignore what I'm saying just to harp on about how "there is no evidence" when I've provided plently of examples of evidence they could have found, but didn't bother to, then I'm done.
      • The Leviathan of Dis. If it was Sovereign, then it was found by Batarians, then disappeared. As for, checking Sovereigns age, it's not impossible, and it likely happened. Although, there is no garauntee that Sovereign was more than 50k years old. For all we know, Sovereign is the Prothian Reaper. At which point, what? It's not a geth ship, but an advanced Prothean ship. Making it a relic the geth found, and used for their own purposes (and thereby, a geth ship, just as Sovereign was "Saren's ship"). You have presented examples of evidence not that the council "could have found," but examples of evidence the council did not find, and then claiming they could have. There is no reason for the council to have found any of examples you provided because all of it was found through sheer luck, save for the Cerberus' Derelict reaper, which was more insane inginuity and luck. And, you have yet to provide any example of evidence that can actually be examined by anyone but the third-party-invisible-hand-of-god that is the player. Continuing to spout off about things that are not valid as evidence (because they aren't, as they are all destroyed) as reasons why the Council should believe Shepard is insane.
      • The problem with ignoring what other people are saying and jumping to conclusions is that it causes you make mistakes. I'm not talking about the Leviathan of Dis. Never was. Let me repeat this again: A Batarian, that is, one person, not the entire species, found Sovereign. This was in the first novel. I don't know what the Leviathan of Dis has to do with anything, or why you would bring it up. Also, Sovereign isn't 50k years old. The Reapers were unable to make the Protheans into a Reaper, so Sovereign has to be at least a hundred thousand years old. Not that it really matters, as the Council says that they have concluded that Sovereign was built by the geth, while the geth are less three hundred years old. It's safe to say they didn't check how old it was. And it's great to see that you still think my argument is that the Council should believe you without any evidence, even though I've clearly stated that isn't what I'm saying. What I am saying is that the Council has done a poor job of investigating the Reapers, and that your position of "they must have investigated, and not found anything because there isn't any evidence" is wrong. Any one else who searched for the Reapers was able to find them, and the Council has far more resources than any of those groups, so your claim that "you can only find the Reapers through sheer luck, otherwise it's completely impossible" doesn't hold up.
      • First to the communication error Second, just because the collectors exist does not mean a Prothean Reaper was not made. There is no evidence one way or the other a Prothean Reaper was made. I make no claim Sovereign actually is the Prothean Reaper, just that's it's a possible explanation. Just because we don't see the results of the tests doesn't mean they were not done. Finally, with regards to "Everyone has found something on the Reapers when they investigated." There has only been one actual search for Reapers that we know about. It was done by Cerberus to find the derelict Reaper. All other investigations that have found evidence of the Reapers have been excursions searching for something else (Shepard going through Omega 4, Shepard going to Ilos, prothean dig sites, etc) but turned up evidence with regards to the Reapers (which was usually destroyed/disabled shortly afterward). Searching for something else, and finding Reapers, does not mean that you were searching for Reapers to begin with... As such, regardless of resources, the Council should not be (and is not) on the hook to finance every investigation, for the most random of things, on the off chance a mention of the Reapers turns up. And that's not even getting started on the unknown investigations by "crazy" people actually looking for clues to the end of the current galactic civilizations...
      • Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but isn't the derelict Reaper in the Terminus systems? Where the Council doesn't hold much, if any presence and therefore attempting to investigate would be difficult if not impossible? Neither Cerberus nor the Shadow Broker need to concern themselves with legal jurisdiction and potential political ramifications.
      • That's why they have the Spectres. I certainly don't think maintaining a presence and/or investigating the Terminus would be that big a problem for what's supposed to be the biggest law-abiding government (alliance) in the galaxy though, Spectres or not. I think the Council already maintains some colonies in the Terminus systems for PR reasons too. What i'm trying to say is, one can't really expect any entity, not Cerberus, not the Shadow Broker to have more reach or resources than the unified galactic government. But anyway, they established the Spectres precisely for such reasons, so they can both save face in front of all of Council space and get done what they need to get done. And what's frustrating about their attitude is that we spend all of ME1 doing exactly what we are told to do, prove our ability and loyalty numerous times, only to be stonewalled in ME2 when we actually give them answers they're not ready to hear. On it's own, such a thing is forgivable. When you're making calls that determine the fate of trillions - not so much.
      • That is why they have the Spectres but that doesn't mean they can just ignore potential political fallout. There's a reason Spectres are a) above the law and b) allowed to operate autonomously, and this is that reason. A Spectre can, of his own volition, go into the Terminus, do what he needs to do, get the job done, and then come home and go, "Hey, so, I fixed the problem." The Council, however, cannot order him to do that, because that would be no different from ordering any military force into the Terminus. They cannot be on record saying, "Yes, military force A, go into the Terminus systems," because that can be taken as an aggressive action. They cannot say, "Shepard, go work with these terrorists," or it will be all over the extranet, "The Councilors SUPPORT TERRORISM. Is that the kind of people you want leading you?" The Council are politicians; everything they say can and will be used against them. Shepard, as a Spectre, has to take that initiative on his own so that the Council can plausibly deny any connection to it and avoid sparking a war. As I mentioned earlier: if they didn't really approve of Shepard's activities with Cerberus, they never would have restored his Spectre status.

     The handy armour and pistol in the med bay 
  • Why was there a full suit of armor and a hand cannon right beside your operating table in the Project Lazarus site? Shouldn't that be like, in an armory or something?
    • They were probably prepared so that they could show them to him/her upon waking. It's just that Wilson's "brilliant" idea put an end to that plan.
    • They were specifically made for Shepard. It's not just any full suit of armor, it's an N7 suit of armor. They wanted to have Shepard back in action, back as he was, as quickly as possible.

     Inconsistent M E1/ME 2 Renegade options 
  • Okay, so I guess Bioware didn't want to use Good vs. Evil or Light vs. Dark, so they went with Paragon vs. Renegade. However, half the time, the the so-called Renegade says stuff like "I run a military operation, you better friggin' salute" and "This is strictly business, I don't actually care about you", and other such cliché movie jerkass stuff. That doesn't strike me as the behavior of a Renegade, quite the opposite.
    • "Paragon" and "Renegade" don't mean the character simply purposely breaks or follows regulations. It's closer to social or moral regulations than anything else. Paragons are, well, paragons of social virtue. They follow the rules when possible, but are normally willing to follow what they believe to be right and try to treat everybody with kindness and respect (if possible). Renegades, however, generally don't care about anything resembling what may or may not be right and are generally ruthless in getting the job done. They act like dicks very often because the path does have them patient enough to bother making nice with people who are already obligated to work with them. Any normal player is going to end up as a mixture of the archetypes (usually favoring one or the other) so why whine that "renegade" doesn't mean what you want it to?
      • Renegade is kind of a misnomer, really, though 'Jerk Ass Soldier' hardly has the same ring to it. There's nothing remotely 'renegade' about a mentality of getting the job done. The word Renegade would imply a Chaotic Neutral stance of 'I'll do what I want and be damned with the rules or this saving-the-galaxy', whereas in fact it's more a Chaotic Good 'Sure, I'll do the job, but I step on toes to do it'.
      • "Chaotic Good"? Maybe you haven't noticed how Renegade Shepard ruins people's lives and kills whoever just for the hell of it? Chaotic Neutral, at best.
      • I'm going ahead and calling it Chaotic Evil. Most of the Renegade's options end in abusing or even murdering someone for no good reason. I can't imagine what the Council must have felt in the first game whenever Renegade Shepard just disconnected during reports over and over. I don't know about you, but if I were a Councillor, I'd call that suspicious behavior, especially if another one of my best agents just went rogue. I realize Spectres are supposed to be able to get away with almost anything, but does this even include being rude towards one's very employers?
      • Call it what you like, it'd still be wrong. "No good reason" is subjective. You can list the killings that you think were pointless or for the hell of it, and I can give you a "legitimate" reason for them. As for the Council, they specifically say that they wish to have no influence in how a Spectre operates. If the Council truly cared, they would revoke the status. Besides, calling the Council up just to disconnect the call is, I think, a smidge better than not bothering to call the Council to begin with.
      • The Pyjaks on Eletania, for one thing. Conrad Verner, for another (shooting his foot). The hostage in Thane's loyalty mission. Samara. Aresh (Jack's loyalty mission). The batarians who have Daniel held near Mordin's clinic, especially if you've already gotten them to agree to let Daniel go peacefully. The sick batarian on the way there. Kal'Reegar (Tali's recruitment mission). That random Eclipse merc on Thane's recruitment mission. Telon (the gun-wielding salarian on the same mission). Niftu Cal (the "biotic god" volus). Sidonis. The girl being shot at on Jacob's loyalty mission (though her death is "only indirectly" your fault there — you have no reason not to save her). The missing scout on Tuchanka during Mordin's loyalty mission. Khalisah Bint Sinan al-Jilani (the newscaster you can punch), in both games. Every single one of these assaults or murders can be reasonably avoided, and their respective "I Did What I Had to Do" problems solved, without too much hassle.
      • Explained in order: Non-sentient animals (ie, it's easier to search corpses than to hunt down a specific animal, out of 46, and examine it for the item). Conrad needed to be taught there are consequences for his actions. Blatant anti-human, as evil as those find the Terra Firma Party. Samara is more of a threat (just on the basis of her saying she'll kill Shepard when her service is complete). Aresh threatened to bring back the biotic program. Humans cannot trust batarians. Same as before. Kal'Reegar volunteers to assist with the assault on the Colossus. Random merc would have alerted his friends. Telon had a gun pointed at you, saying he'll shoot (one should let him?). Niftu Cal could create enough of a distraction to get what you want accomplished. Sidonis' death is on himself for selling out his team. Why would I assume more humans coming up on me would be hostile if the first one wasn't? (Assuming the non-intimidate option?) I don't have time to deal with attempting to convince a Krogan to man up, and report to his clan; If he wants to stay and die, let him. Khalisah attempting to elicit an emotional response from her subject, you are only obliging her, and thereby changing the story from what she wants it to be about (whatever her agenda at the time is), to her getting hit. Just because an option can be avoided does not mean the alternate solution is "better," it just means the alternate solution is there.
      • Just an observation: "As evil as those [one may] find [in] the Terra Firma party"? Terra Firma isn't actually hurting anyone. Those Batarians were threatening to kill a man who was trying to HELP them, for pity's sake.
      • Indeed, though their reasons for being distrustful of him are semi-semi-logical (they caught a human wandering around right after a plague hit that killed most races except humans). More importantly, these batarians are more than willing to let Daniel go, safe and unharmed, if you keep your promise to them. "Blatant[ly] anti-human?" There goes your "humans cannot trust batarians" thesis.
      • ^^ The "blatant anti-human" response had nothing to do with batarians. The responses were in order, so it was with regards to the Turian politician that Renegade Shepard has the option of killing to resolve Thane's loyalty issue. And the Turians actions are as evil as the Terra Firma party's. Also, ^, the responses were legitimate reasons for the actions. That one can point to the paragon solution and say, essentially, "fixed" doesn't mean that the renegade response is any less valid. If the batarians holding Daniel would have let Daniel go if you hadn't walked in with two friends each carrying a weapon, then the thesis would be invalid...
      • Okay, sorry. Joram Talid (the turian politician). Yes, he was anti-human, but did he deserve or need to die just because of that? As for Samara, she only says she'll kill you if you force her to do something that goes against her code. I'd say she's less of a threat than a serial sexual predator/murderer. You still said that "humans cannot trust batarians [in general]." That defeats the purpose of the game trying to establish that for each of the "expectations" for the various races (asari are wise and elegant or whatever, humans are determined but pushy or whatever *, krogan are violent *, and so on), there are exceptions. As for the renegade options, with a few exceptions * they're not valid because they're not necessary. I'd say it is a lot "better" to solve a problem without bloodshed and/or arrogance if it can be done without compromise or causing more problems, which would be more of what a Renegade would have to worry about anyway.
      • The explanations were an effort to give reasons for the actions. That one dislikes the reasons is perfectly fine, but it does not make the reason invalid because your dislike of said reasoning is subjective. Everyone has different opinions on various aspects of the game, but it does not make the options available "bad" unless one chooses to think that during their current play through. The whole point to the argument, really, is that what one considers to be a "necessary" option should be based on the way they are currently playing through the game, and not on what one thinks subjectively outside. It may not make sense for your Shepard to take an option, but it would be more out of character for my Shepard to pass on the option. The problem I think people are failing to understand is this: Neither is wrong or inconsistent. And the Samara thing...
    • Paragons are a velvet glove over an iron hand. Renegades are iron gauntlets over iron fists.
    • Having discussed this with one of the developers for the original Mass Effect, he said that they called it "Renegade" because it was shorter than "Colossal Dickasaurus." So yeah, a strong part of the pure Renegade characterization is that a pure Renegade Shepard is an amoral, unlikable jerk who bullies others into doing what he or she wants. That said, nobody's requiring you to play a pure Renegade.
      • That's an important point that needs to be remembered. You're not required to play the game purely as a Renegade character; you can play it as a partial Renegade or even a compassionate Renegade (i.e. caring for your crew and protecting innocents, while still being violently ruthless with enemies) Its just that Shepard's actions define who and what s/he is; certain acts of coercion/intimidation simply cannot be taken by a character who isn't quite ruthless enough. I think that his is why Shepard's scars get worse in the second game as s/he does more renegade actions; the scars are reflecting Shepard's personality. The more violent, ruthless, and vicious Shepard acts, the more violent, vicious, and ruthless she can be and the more it colors his/her personality.

     Joker and Vrolik's Syndrome 
  • Okay, Joker's backstory establishes that he was born with Vrolik syndrome, which causes brittleness in the bones in his legs. Supposedly it is difficult for him to walk, even with contemporary medical advances, and he is stated to walk with crutches and leg braces, which is why he stays in the cockpit... however, early on in Mass Effect 2 when he rejoins Shepherd, he seems to be walking around fine. Did I miss something?
    • He's not walking fine. He's moving with a bad limp and he's hunched over.
    • No, you didn't. It's never really explained, but Joker never said that he couldn't move without crutches—just that it was difficult to do so. However, he does still limp and cannot walk especially fast, even when he needs to. There are also fan theories that part of the reason he joined Cerberus was to get better treatment for his condition. Cerberus has shown on several occasions that they do take care of their members and their families—right before, y'know, gambling with their lives and stuff.
      • On the other hand, he says (and I quote) "I fractured my thumb on the mute [button, relating to EDI's voice unit]", yet he's perfectly capable of firing an assault rifle on full-auto to dispatch Collector drones, recoil and all.
      • Burstfire, actually. And I'm sure you've never exaggerated anything?
      • How can you fracture your thumb with a hapatic interface? If you can, none of the designers watched any of the old Star Trek vids...
      • Joker was, get this, joking. Fracturing his thumb on a holographic interface is so ridiculous that it was the entire point of the joke.
      • Actualy, on that point... WHAT the HELL, Joker? At the risk of sounding like a feminazi, "Get back in the cockpit, boy!" Didn't we send someone to escort the crew for exactly this purpose?! Maybe Joker makes sense in the Worst Ending where no-one lives (no escort for the crew, everyone dies), but personally, I'd rather have Mordin... or, hell, Gardner, covering me during the final run with Joker sitting in the cockpit ready to hit the throttle the second I'm aboard! Consider it: We've got confirmation that the Hold the Line team are aboard, and we just SAW your party members leaping aboard. Once the Ht L team are aboard, why don't they plug their kinetic barriers into the Normandy's mains supply or something. For that matter, EDI, where's my GARDIAN system?!
      • For the most part, Joker is the one member of the team who will be closest to the airlock; he may have been the only one who could have responded that quickly. He looks up, sees Shepard in trouble, tells EDI to keep the Normandy steady, and grabs a gun to cover Shepard. Everyone else was likely downstairs in the ship, probably with the rest of the survivors they extracted. As for the GARDIAN lasers, firing off those things that close to Shepard is a quick way to end up with a crispy fried Commander; the Collector Base has atmosphere and shooting off lasers of that power is guaranteed to result in enough superheated air to roast Shepard.
      • Also, remember that it's possible he was the only member of the crew aboard, if you wait too long to go through the relay. They got a chance to consolidate cutscenes and add in a CMOA, so they took it.
    • I believe what happened is he received some mechanical or biotic upgrades for his legs after he joined Cerberus that allow him to walk on his own, although still with a fair amount of difficulty.

     "I", "We", and Reapers 
  • Legion states that Reapers see themselves as a nation unto themselves, and explains that like the geth, they're made up of thousands, if not millions, of individual little programs. At first I figured "oh cool, that's how they explain the Reapers talking in the first-person plural"...except a lot of Harbinger's battle taunts have him saying things like "If I must tear you apart, Shepard, I will," and right before the final battle of the first game, Sovereign says through Saren "I am Soveriegn, the Citadel is mine!" Yet during the confrontation on Virmire and some of Harbinger's other taunts, they refer to themselves as "we". Admittedly, I'm probably remembering things wrong, but on the chance that I'm not, can someone explain why the Reapers can't decide whether or not they're using the Royal We?
    • "We" may be referring to the entire collective ofprograms on each Reaper, while "I" may be referring to one specific program's actions.
    • Sovereign's exact words were: "We are each a nation, independent, free of all weakness." Legion says that the geth are awed by the Reapers because although they are composed of thousands of programs, they are each an individual (for example, Nazara a.k.a. Sovereign and Harbinger both have names, while the geth have no individuality whatsoever). The Reapers are a "nation" of programs, but each individual Reaper is an independent being. Think of it as the way entities such as "Uncle Sam" or "Columbia" embody an entire nation of people while remaining an individual toward other such entities, such as "Mother Russia or Britannia".

     Maelon's knowledge of Reaper indoctrination 
  • Sooo...Maelon knows about Reaper indoctrination, based on what Mordin taught him during their time working together. How is that possible, exactly? Nobody except Saren knew about Reaper indoctrination before two years ago, and no one even believes in them aside from Shepard & Nakama and Cerberus. Yet, Maelon offhandedly mentions it as if it were common knowledge. Somebody help me make sense of this.
    • You forgot Rana Thanoptis. And probably Kirahe and co, and Shiala. Granted, it's possible for all of those to be dead, but the existence of indoctreination is not that much of a secret.
      • Exactly, the Salarian STG almost certainly knows about indoctrination and Maelon was once a member (and apparently still has clearance).
      • There is only one possible STG member who would know about indoctrination (the scout you set free—the rest of them had no idea what was going on in Saren's base), and whether or not he survives is up to the players' actions. I could almost buy that the sequel just decides that Shepard freed the scout, except that Maelon expressly says that he learned this from Mordin himself, from a report written by Mordin. I actually didn't forget Rana or Shiala, but whether or not they survive is up to the player. Maelon's statement is made whether they're alive or not.
      • Don't forget the random "machine cultist" outbreaks on various worlds. Indoctrination is a scientifically known phenomenon in the Mass Effect universe — Shepard's just one of the very few people who knows that the Reapers are behind it.
    • Shepard writes report about indoctrination. STG reads report about indoctrination. STG decides to study effect of indoctrination as best they could. STG does not have stick-up-its-ass that the Council suffers from. End of story.
    • Um, no, he did not. Mordin's thesis, which Maelon read, was on brainwashing. It applies to Indoctrination, but there's nothing to suggest that was what Mordin wrote about.
      • Yes it is. Shadow Broker's dossier on Mordin confirms it. The exact title of the paper was "Indoctrination Progression and Mental Degredation (Classified, STG)"
      • It is also implied that the STG is doing research relating to the Reapers following the events of the first game. The Cerberus Daily News report for October 7, 2185 mentions that a salarian academic organization devoted to exploring and studying worlds containing ancient civilizations destroyed in the distant past is actually covertly funded by the STG, and passes on all their information to the salarian intelligence community. Coupled with Mordin's classified thesis on indoctrination, and it seems that while the Council seems to be dismissing the Reaper threat, the STG is at the very least looking into it.

     Shepard and the lack of promotion after Mass Effect 1 
  • Why on earth was Shepard not promoted between the games? Shouldn't a person who single-handedly saved the Citadel, and put humanity into the Council get some sort of formal recognition of his deeds, even if his views are unpopular among the brass? Shouldn't his rank in the Alliance be Captain Shepard after such achievements, at least? And why do people in Cerberus still insist on calling him Commander, too? He's no longer in the Alliance, period, and he captains a non-military vessel - that should give him the title of Captain by default, even without a military rank.
    • Several possible explanations:
      • They were going to promote him/her, but before the paperwork got down the chain, he caught a bad case of the dead.
      • The issue was caught up in bureucracy as to whether he can be promoted as an Alliance soldier for his actions as a Council Spectre
      • The galaxy at large knows him as Commander Shepard, Human Spectre. Compare Captain Jack Sparrow, even when he has no ship.
    • The human space navy term for the ranking officer on a ship is not Captain, but Commanding Officer. You can protest to the quarians that you're not actually a captain.
    • Shepard starts ME 1 as a Lieutenant Commander, as per the Codex, and may very well have received an offscreen promotion to Staff Commander (the rank which Kaidan holds in ME 2 if he's still around).
    • Shepard's a Spectre. S/he's completely removed from the normal chain of command. Any promotion would be a meaningless gesture.
    • Anderson only vaguely implies that Shepard'd been removed from the Alliance chain of command, and many side quests (as well as being consistently referred to as 'Commander' instead of an honorific 'Captain') very, very strongly suggest that service in Alliance Navy and Special Tactics and Recon are not mutually exclusive.
    • No more pointless than trying to promote Hannah Shepard to Admiral.
      • She's still working a full Alliance soldier. Her child is not.
    • The "promotion from Lieutenant Commander to Staff Commander" theory seems the most likely to be correct. I fully expect Shepard to have been promoted to full Captain by the third game. Shepard's time on the Flotilla being addressed as "Captain" was likely a dry run to get players used to the idea. Bioware is known for taking fan feedback seriously...
      • Much, much, much more likely is that the quarians are following naval custom in referring to the commanding officer of a ship as 'Captain,' regardless of actual military rank. If I had to guess, Shepard's commission with the Alliance ended when (s)he was listed as KIA instead of MIA, and any rank Shepard holds in the second game is actually a rank with Cerberus (which I doubt many beyond the organization would recognize).
      • But Cerberus doesn't use military ranks, period. The only ranks mentioned are Agent and Operative. You're the captain of a non-military ship in ME 2, so why aren't you called captain by anyone but the quarians?
    • He's Bond, James Bond. Commander Bond, Commander Shepard.
    • Because to the galaxy at large, including the crew Cerberus recruits, you're Commander Shepard (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!!!).
    • Retired military officers keep the title. After being a Commander, Captain or General, it's no fun to go back to Mister. Shepard stopped being Alliance military when he became a Spectre, but 'Spectre Shepard' doesn't have the same ring to it.
      • If you want proof of this, ignore Bailey the first time you go on the Citadel, go see Anderson/Udina, get reinstated as a Spectre, then go see him. He refers to you as "Spectre Agent Shepard" or somesuch, much less satisfying than "Commander Shepard". YMMV, naturally.
      • I'm astounded by this... First off, Quarians refer to anyone in charge of a ship as captain, or at least thats what the closest translation is too, whereas Admiral is someone in charge of multiple ship, being that Shepard leads the Normandy, he is the Captain, also, an old Naval tradition is whoever is in Command of the ship (Usually the highest ranking officer) is called Captain, regardless of Military or Civilian operations.

     Legion and repairing himself 
  • Why doesn't Legion bother repairing himself, or at least covering the gaping hole in his chest that exposes all of his vital circuits?
    • Won't do him much good. Geth bodies don't have a whole lot of armor in the first place. If his shields go down, he's probably going to take a lot of damage anyway, regardless of how much of his circuits are covered up.
    • Shepard could've atleast given him an undamaged piece of N7 armor; it's what this troper expected his loyalty outfit to be.
    • If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Note that Legion has some geth wiring obviously after-added to the armor.
    • Given Legion's response when you ask about the armor it (they?) used, the recovered piece likely has some emotional value that, as machines, the geth aren't yet developed enough to appreciate. The armor Shepard wore in battle means more than a stock replacement, even if it's handed out by the Commander.
    • The meta explanation is of course that the hole makes Legion more immediately distinguishable from enemy geth so that the player doesn't waste half a clip shooting at him.
    • Come to think of it, Legion has the same hole as "Spider-Saren" from the first game had. That's why this troper assumed from the trailers that Legion was the rebuilded version of Saren.

     Character derailment of the Systems Alliance 
  • So everyone is making a big deal of Kaiden/Ashley and Liara so-called characters derailment. But what about the System Alliance? They were completely bullshitting you about the "rogue VI" on the moon (that was really illegal AI research, but don't get me started about why they thought it was a good idea to do so with drones armed to the teeth nearby), they gleefully descended on all of Shepard's work like vulture and tear it appart after the commander disappear, heck, if you decide to sacrifice the old council for reasons that tactically are very sound (killing Sovvy ASAP), they take the opportunity to transform the Citadel into a police state. Sure, TIM is a manipulative bastard, but he admit it, just like he admit that Cerberus is brutal yet very clear about its agenda. Can't say the same of the Alliance.
    • Some people don't realize that those three have been through a lot in the intervening two years between watching Shepard die and what they do now. If they read the comic, nobody would ever question Liara's current line of work. As for the Alliance, they're a military body. They have no idea how to handle running the Citadel after the Council died and are still figuring things out.
      • Honestly, I still think that Liara's going a bit too far. The fact that most of Shepard's Paragon options actually claim as much makes me think that this is not unintentional, either. Sure, she went through a lot in these two years, but she even acknowledges that she's becoming the very thing she's always hated. Also, I understand the political reasons why the Alliance do what they do, but political reasonings don't make stupid decisions less stupid. There's no doubt that they've got their hands full, but Shepard has all the right to be pissed about how they've basically destroyed everything he worked for in the first game.
      • I don't mind Liara's behaviour emotion-wise once I got the full story of her recovering Shepard's body and so on. What really bugs is Liara's instant success as an information broker. Let's see - we are talking about someone who could barely get through a conversation in Mass Effect 1 without making some embarrassing faux pas. Now, she is succeeding in a very cut-throat business where people skills should be essential? She even says her new work is just like archeology. I couldn't decide if the writers were hanging a lampshade on this whole development or were actually serious.
      • I took her personality shift as being basically a standard part of Asari maturation. When some Asari describe what their Maiden times were like (Matriarch Bartender comes to mind), they seem to imply a very large amount of personality flux occuring while they are young, settling down (or not) by the time they reach Matronhood. Even in the first game, the Awkward!Liara of conversation is replaced by the Scary Competent!Liara of combat, so she isn't completely the blue ball of naievete that she seems to be. And besides, even Paragon Shepard wasn't without any kind of meaningful contacts at the end of the game, and there are two whole months of time unaccounted for between the Battle of the Citadel and Shepard coming down with a sudden case of dead. Considering what Shepard accomplished in several weeks to stop Sovereign, imagine what he could accomplish in two months without an apocalypse breathing down his neck. And then there are two years for Liara to come up with what is essentially an act to fool the people she is working with. Now you have a Liara who started trading on Shepard's reputation, then started trading on her own fledgling reputation as a new agent for the Shadow Broker, and finally using her apparent reputation as the Bitch-Queen of Illium to work, all the while just keeping one step ahead of her competion finding out that she is bluffing her ass off.
      • Liara hasn't stopped being a Maiden, and isn't even close to becoming a Matron. The other points are quite good however, especially the bluffing part. Remember that Liara's most social problems were with non-asari, and that she spent her early life watching her mother, a powerful and influential politician work. It seems that she hides her insecurity under acting cues effectively directly lifted from Matriarch Benezia - note just what she's saying on the phone when you walk in. That, and she has had very trying two years, on top of all she went through with Shepard. Experiences like that can change a person considerably.
      • You may have misunderstood what I was saying about the Asari life stages. I was supposing that the Asari can undergo a large amount of variation in their personalities compared to other species, since they are essentially emotional teenagers for several hundred years, which settles down when they move to the next stage of their lives. Sorry for the confusion, but I was massively sleep deprived when I wrote that, and I still don't think I conveyed what I meant clearly.
      • That Liara is super-pissed toward the Shadow broker for what it nearly did to Shepard is perfectly understandable. That she put on the mask of a cold-hearted bitch for operating on Illium is also understandable. That she use the first point as a reason for not coming with The Shep on a trip to SAVE THE FUCKING GALAXY is not. By the time you reach Illium, you can be 90% sure that the collectors are working for the reapers (not surprising, really). Isn't the threat of multiples Mecha-Cuthlu a wee bit bigger than the Shadow broker? Wrex, I understand, but only because I can see the uselfulness of a unified krogan population for the final battle, so did Cerberus. Ashley/Kaiden are the worst. Garrus and Tali always trusted Shepard, even if they hated cerberus, and agreed that, considering the circumstances, it was not that bad to be allied with Cerberus. Ash and Not-Carth were with Shepard from day one, they are both very likely to be in love with the (wo)man, they should trust Shepard and following his/her very words blindly, probably even more than the other two ensembles darkhorses. I really blame lousy writing, especially with Ash yelling at the Shep for not giving a call in two years while he suffered a bad case of the death. And after that, you've got Anderson telling you to go screw when you ask "Dude, where's my Ash?", and TIM being unable to find her. Wait, why can't I yell back at Ash and tell her just that?
      • The thing is that while the Collectors are working for the Reapers. their plans don't put the galaxy itself in (immediate) danger. Ashley/Kaiden are busy trying to force the current rulers of the galaxy to start preparing for the coming war. Liara's goal, while less noble than the others, do allow her to gain information that nobody else could gather. Like Wrex's work, what they're doing is too important to drag them out for an almost certain suicide mission when Shepard already has their skill sets covered with the new squad. Shepard's not so needy as to force the entire team back to hold their hand. As for Ashley and Kaiden being pissed, they're just being understandibly over-emotional considering the person they respected most somehow came back from the dead just to work with notorius terrorists without attempting to contact them (as far as they know). They'd probably forgive the whole Cerberus thing if they had a few hours to cool off.
      • I don't know about Kaiden, but Ashley, if you picked her as a love interest, sends a letter forgiving Sheperd and saying that she trusts him to do the right thing.
      • Ashley and Kaidan are actually understandable. To be quite blunt, in their eyes, you are a traitor. Shepard is working with Cerberus. You know, the people who were actively and knowingly experimenting on Alliance soldiers and civilians in the first game. Which resulted in multiple fatalities. Hell, if you're a Sole Survivor, its even worse. A "what the fuck, Commander?" response is natural, especially when you've been dead and you might even be under Cerberus control without realizing it. Confusion, suspicion, distrust, etc. would be natural.
      • The thing is that while the Collectors are working for the Reapers. their plans don't put the galaxy itself in (immediate) danger. You have no way of actually knowing that, in-universe. Remember, in the first game, everyone assumed that all Saren was doing was leading a geth uprising against humanity. It isn't until you peel back the layers of plot that you realize there's something much larger at stake. As for the "companions", there's a dose of Idiot Ball coupled with justified reasons for all their cases. For Liara, she's blinded by revenge. Yes, what the Shadow Broker did is bad, but she's single-mindedly obsessed with payback. Again, the Paragon choices all acknowledge as much. Ashley has always been a hardass Alliance loyalist (she's desperate to save her family name from going down in history as a traitor), so it's not unexpected of her. And Kaidan has never done much but blindly follow orders. Yes, they still get idiot points for putting Alliance business above the potential extermination of the galaxy, but they're military people through-and-through.
      • Even if they don't believe in a universal reaper-esque threat, the mere fact that human colonies are targeted, that Shepard just prevented than from being abducted, and that by working with Cerberus he provides the first setback the collectors ever have in two years should get Ash/Not-Carth thinking.
      • Except neither Shepard nor TIM have any demonstrable proof of the Reaper/Collector connection, mostly by virtue of blowing it up.
    • Shepard would probably be able to get Surviving Human working with him/her again, if it weren't for the detail of working for notorious terrorists. The only reason Shepard doesn't have to deal with law enforcement for what is essentially treason is because Anderson was able to keep them off your back. Surviving Human Crem Member is busy trying their best to force the Council to act, but doesn't the comforts of Spectre legal immunity and the most advanced ship in Citadel space to work with. Besides that, they have to make sure that the remaining half of Horizon doesn't get wiped out by raiders before Alliance aid can arrive. As for Liara, it's pretty obvious that she's obsessed with revenge, but she's right that pulling out of the investigation isn't that easy. As she is now, her information network is quite useful. All and all, it's better to leave everybody else where they are than try to force them into a suicide mission while their minds are clouded. (Remember the hoops Shepard has to go through to clear everybody else's heads for the mission? Catching the most mysterious figure in the galaxy and/or pounding some sense into the Council would not be half as easy a fighting a bunch of mercs.)
      • From some of what Surviving Human said during my playthrough, I got the impression that they assumed Shepard had faked her death in order to join Cerberus. It's makes somewhat more sense than that Shepard was resurrected by a terrorist group.
      • As for the Collectors, nobody but Cerberus could prove they were involved in the disappearances at all until Shepard interruped the Horizon attack. Even then, the only proof they have any contact with Reaper technology aside from using the Omega-4 Relay was the Husks (which most people still thought were from the geth). The only source of information claiming the Collectors are related to Reapers is the Illusive Man, who is not exactly the most trustworthy guy around. Unfortunately for Shepard, the only people who can act right now just happen to belong to a group of infamous terrorists.
      • As I said before, at the time you meet the Surviving Human again, there's no way for anyone to know just what the Collectors are planning or how serious the implications are. In fact, I find that entire viewpoint to be rather silly (from their perspective—not yours). In the first game, no one knew what Saren was up to at first. Until Tali came along, the only thing anyone knew was that he was leading the geth on a surprise attack against human colonies. Later on, you find out that the Reapers are using Saren and the geth as agents for an uprising. In the second game, entire colonies are going missing (not just being attacked), so the incidents are even worse than in the first game. Also, we have absolutely NO idea what the Collectors were planning to do once they finished with the Terminus Systems colonies. On the Collector ship, you learn that they were ultimately planning to attack Earth, but there's no timetable given for this. For all we know, the attack was coming next month, or even next week. In this tropers' opinion, there is no rational justification for the decision to ignore this. Yes, I blame Surviving Human for their actions, but even moreso, I blame the Alliance for throwing Shepard to the dogs. The reason Shepard works with Cerberus is because no one else believes him, and no one else is taking the steps to do anything about it. The Alliance didn't want to act because of the political implications of running the Council, protecting the Citadel, and possible outbreak of war with the Terminus Systems. Hell, even Kenneth from Engineering and Jacob had more sense than to follow those kinds of ridiculous orders.
      • Considering the Collectors seem to have only one ship - which even the Normandy blows up in like two shots - and a single base, chances are they wouldn't have stood a chance if they had tried to attack Earth. And they seem to know that - if they could do it with impunity why not start with Earth and get all the needed humans in one go? And it's not true you learn they are going to attack Earth - this is just a guess made by Shepard. What really bugs me about the whole thing is that there is no option of sending the info you gather about the Collectors to the Council/Alliance/the galactic media. You even visit a derelict Reaper and don't stop to think "hmm, this could be the proof they wanted!".You get the footage from Veetor but as far as this troper recalls you can't send it to the Alliance or the Council.
      • Nice point, though the council may go all "WTF Shepard? Proof from a quarian AGAIN? Are you in love with them or what?" Well, now that you mention it...
      • What really bugs me about the whole thing is that there is no option of sending the info you gather about the Collectors to the Council/Alliance/the galactic media. I said that exact thing on this very page. But anyway, you have to remember that the Reapers (and by extension the Collectors) don't fight wars of attrition. They use every element of manipulation, subterfuge, and surprise attack that they can. The Reapers' entire invasion plan was focused upon this, and the Collectors always did hit-and-run attacks that eliminated any resistance before it began. The fact that Collectors only had one ship (that we know of) and that they didn't seem to have the manpower or resources to attack the Earth directly isn't hard evidence of their lack of a threat. They don't fight on the same terms as the rest of the galaxy.
      • What really bugs me about the whole thing is that there is no option of sending the info you gather about the Collectors to the Council/Alliance/the galactic media. Aside from the fact that there is Photoshop in the future, thus rendering any footage you send iffy in the first place, have we forgotten that, at this point, Shepard is working for Cerberus? That's more than enough to warrant an automatic "We should really be iffy on trusting this guy." Throwing the info to the news media will likely not generate an immediate response, instead resulting in a lot of debate.
      • You even visit a derelict Reaper and don't stop to think "hmm, this could be the proof they wanted!". So, what's going to happen if you call up the Council to report the Reaper? There's a better than good chance the response is going to be "Ah, yes, "Reapers" again. Bring us some technology from this supposed "Reaper", Commander Works-For-Psychotic-Anti-Alien-Terrorist-Group-Who-May-Be-Under-A-Mental-Control-Chip."
      • Not to mention that when you visit the derelict Reaper there's a Geth ship docked with it. True, you don't expect it to be there but the Council would just take that as more proof for their "Deny everything and blame it on the Geth" strategy.
      • We are talking about the same Council that readily believed Saren and Benezia were traitors when you showed up with a ten second long audio recording, right? And the derelict Reaper has apparently been there for millions of years according to some astronomical changes observed by the Cerberus scientists, so it couldn't have been built by the Geth. Maybe the Council wouldn't believe it's a Reaper but by showing this piece of evidence you could possibly prove that the problem didn't originate with the Geth. As for the footage from Freedom's Progress, why not send it anonymously or tell Cerberus to shove it and go convince the Council/Alliance - but not with Cerberus's ship and not together with their personnel! Or kill/capture Miranda and Jacob and claim you have spent the last two years undercover, trying to break Cerberus from within. O But no, the game doesn't give you a chance to be anything other than Cerberus's lapdog right until the final few minutes.
      • We are talking about the same Council that readily believed Saren and Benezia were traitors when you showed up with a ten second long audio recording, right? As pointed out at the top of the page, that could be readily authenticated.
      • And the derelict Reaper has apparently been there for millions of years according to some astronomical changes observed by the Cerberus scientists, so it couldn't have been built by the Geth. Maybe the Council wouldn't believe it's a Reaper but by showing this piece of evidence you could possibly prove that the problem didn't originate with the Geth. Problem: that evidence was uncovered by Cerberus, the same people the Council don't trust. Automatically suspect from the Council's perspective.
      • As for the footage from Freedom's Progress, why not send it anonymously Because anonymously posted videos that have been clearly pieced together that show grainy images of what might be Collectors at what might be a human colony couldn't be faked! I suppose next we'll be accepting Youtube videos into evidence, too?
      • or tell Cerberus to shove it and go convince the Council/Alliance - but not with Cerberus's ship and not together with their personnel! By that point in time you're already marked as working for Cerberus. No one's going to trust you.
      • No, you are not. You have just gone to one colony to see if the Illusive Man is full of crap or not. Theoretically nothing is stopping Shepard from walking out on Cerberus at that point. They can claim he/she was working for them all they want but I doubt many are going to believe them, especially if Shepard starts hunting them.
      • Or kill/capture Miranda and Jacob and claim you have spent the last two years undercover, trying to break Cerberus from within. That's just being ridiculous. Shepard has been confirmed killed. You know, that whole issue with Shepard's body and Liara? Kinda hard to pretend you haven't been dead when there was an actual box of confirmed Shepard-meat lying around. And again, Shepard's been marked as a Cerberus operative; even if Shepard killed both his crewmembers in a spat of "Ha! Renegade!" Jerk Ass-ness, that could easily be dismissed as a ploy by the Illusive Man or Cerberus to earn the Council's trust.
      • O But no, the game doesn't give you a chance to be anything other than Cerberus's lapdog right until the final few minutes. Betray the people who are supplying you, giving you a ship and crew, supporting you with intelligence, and brought you back to life to maybe join up with an organization that outright distrusts you, considers you a hairsbreadth away from being a traitor, and oh btw did betray you the moment you became politically inconvenient? Brilliant! Cutting yourself off from supplies, half your crew, and setting yourself to be hunted down by the most dangerous terrorist group in the galaxy while there's a galaxy-spanning threat on the horizon and you're being personally hunted by the Collectors is exactly the way to win the war. Or, y'know, you could work with the guys who are helping you until after you've dealt with the immediate threat, but that's an idiotic concept and- oh, oops, the Sarcasm-Generator just broke.
      • Most of what you mention happens after the point of the story of the story I was referring to. Claiming Shepard shouldn't betray Cerberus because they give him a crew and a ship is nonsense when we are referring to the time before they showed him said crew and ship. Same for the Council betraying him - this hasn't happened yet when Shepard finds Veetor and the footage of the Collectors. So what do we have - some terrorists who claim they are your only hope. You haven't contacted neither the Alliance, nor the Council, yet you are supposed to accept that claim? A claim made by the same people who in Mass Effect 1 were as evil as they come and who couldn't handle a few Rachni eggs without making a deadly mess, let alone come up with a plan to save millions of people? Okay then...
      • True, Cerberus is the only group who can act on the Collector threat right now. Yeah, they absolutely cannot be trusted in the long term, but for the moment, the Illusive Man needs Shepard as much as Shepard needs him. It's an uneasy partnership, but too beneficial for either side to (completely) betray the other. After the immediate threat has been dealt with....that's another story.
      • Claiming Shepard shouldn't betray Cerberus because they give him a crew and a ship is nonsense when we are referring to the time before they showed him said crew and ship. In which case Shepard is on Cerberus stations, and if he turns on Cerberus, the Illusive Man can potentially just push a button and blow everything to pieces. Betraying Cerberus before having his or her own ship is an idiotic move on Shepard's part.
      • Tali presumably has a ship so in theory Shepard could have left Freedom's Progress with her had he/she wanted to get the hell away from Cerberus early on. Freedom's Progress is not a Cerberus station. As for the Illusive Man pushing a button and killing Shepard - for all Shepard knows, this is a possibility at the end of the game too but you still can tell TIM to shove it and blow up the base.
      • Same for the Council betraying him - this hasn't happened yet when Shepard finds Veetor and the footage of the Collectors. Hrm. I seem to remember a certain part of the first Mass Effect game where you are grounded, and Udina even says you're becoming politically inconvenient. And when you steal the Normandy back, the Citadel sends fleets of ships to arrest you. No, that's not a betrayal at all.
      • So, nowadays, not believing somebody's rather outrageous claims equals betrayal? Good to know. We know Shepard's right, the Council wants hard evidence. If you are the UN general secretary would you easily believe someone who says a race of machines wipes out all life in the galaxy on a regular basis?
      • So what do we have - some terrorists who claim they are your only hope. You haven't contacted neither the Alliance, nor the Council, yet you are supposed to accept that claim? A claim made by the same people who in Mass Effect 1 were as evil as they come and who couldn't handle a few Rachni eggs without making a deadly mess, let alone come up with a plan to save millions of people? Before they give you a ship and you do contact the Alliance and the Citadel, you're effectively a prisoner who could potentially be killed at a whim if you turn on them. Betraying them is a Bad Idea. Afterwards, they're obviously your only recourse.
    • The Alliance and Council probably took Shepard seriously (Sovereign is, obviously, not geth) and have been preparing for full-scale war for the past two years. Tearing apart Shepard's work and testimony was probably necessary to avoid a full-scale panic.
      • As much as I want to believe this explanation (since it's way better than the Council being morons for the sake of plot convenience) at how come it never occurred to them that informing Shepard of their plan would be a good idea? What's the worst that could happen? Shepard going to the media to expose them? But the likelihood of that is even greater if they don't inform him of the plan, isn't it? Shepard deciding to kill them? Again, a Shepard kept out of the loop has just as much of a motive to do it. Not trusting Shepard because he is part of Cerberus doesn't cut it since they should have decided whether to believe the Reaper story or not before Shepard's death.
      • Maybe because the absolute worst case scenario is that Shepard has either been mindjacked by Cerberus ala Saren and Benezia or has sworn genuine allegiance to them, and Cerberus will begin trying to take advantage of the Council's preoccupation with the Reapers to make a grab for power? Or maybe the Human embassy has been bugged to hell (they would realize that the Citadel is Reaper tech) and thus it is too risky to convey that data via hologram? Data compartmentalization is one of the hallmarks of running any military or civil institution where death and destruction are in the cards, and the simple fact is that Shepard is firmly in the Does Not Need To Know catagory of the population for whatever they are working on.
    • Am I the only one to think to think that the council was cracking open a good bottle when they heard of Shepard's death? What was Solid Snake saying? Heroes either die or go to prison. Sure, the Shep is a total badass who gets the job done. Sure he just save the whole galaxy. S/He's also completely uncontrolable once lauched, and the Council could even see him/her as a political rival dues to his/her fantastic charisma. Left unchecked, Shepard would have tried his hardest to warn the galaxy of the Reapers. The Council/Alliance wanted the issue closed to return to more normal political/economical matters.
      • "Am I the only one to think to think that the council was cracking open a good bottle when they heard of Shepard's death?" Actually, in one of the stories on the Cerberus Daily News terminal stated that after the Battle of the Citadel, the Council was working on arresting Shepard for obstruction of justice.
      • Actually, now that you mention did the Collectors find Shepard the first time? He was a full specter at that point and the only people who would know about his missions would be...oh my...
      • High-end Collector technology that can likely break Council encryption, plus knowledge that Shepard was going to be wandering around that particular area of space looking for geth. Seed every system in the area with monitoring drones that can spot a target through the Normandy's stealth systems. Sit, watch, wait.

     The quarian homeworld 
  • What the hell are the names of the other races home planets? We know Thessia is asari, and Tuchanka is krogan, but never once does Tali (or any quarian) mention the name of her home world. It's always 'the quarian home world' or 'our home world'. I really hope it isn't something dumb like 'drop the -ans and Bob's your uncle' that most Sci Fi writers fall for.
    • The Mass effect wiki is your friend. List of homeworlds here. Quarian homeworld is Rannoch. Alternatively, Legion namedrops Rannoch in one of his conversations.
      • Explaination: according to Legion, quarians have been away from their world for so long it has become semi-legendary in their mind. He actually makes a big point about how the quarians now seem to prefer to call it homeworld rather than Rannoch on account of having been away from it for so long.

     Mechanics of the genophage 
  • How does the krogan genophage actually work? Mordin states repeatedly and emphatically that the genophage does not actually outright kill any krogan, but many krogan make reference to 'thousands dead in still birth'. Which is it?
    • Mordin probably isn't counting unborn Krogan.
    • It actually counts as both in a way. I don't remember where, but it's explained that the genophage works by preventing fetal nervous system development. This has a very small chance of happening normally in any species and when it does, it's seen as a stillbirth but is not technically considered one because it was never truly a viable pregnancy.
      • The piles of fetal corpses still isn't good for the Krogan psyche though.
    • Basically, the stillborns are never alive. It's not even abortion/euthanasia. I really don't want to open that can of worms.
      • That was Mordin's whole argument: much better to limit the Krogan's absurd fertility than kill already born Krogans by the droves in war. His loyalty mission proves that he continually tries to convince himself that everything he did was necessary and non-murderous because he couldn't take watching what happened next.

     The Illusive Man's location 
  • So, where is TIM, anyway? Is that big glowy star-thing a hologram, or does it actually exist somewhere?
    • He's probably on a space station in some obscure area of the galaxy who keeps the fancy sun hologram for atmosphere. I doubt even Miranda knows exactly where the place is by the end of the game.
      • Especially considering she goes rogue in almost every ending.
      • You mean apart from showing at his side in person in the opening?
      • Two Words: Space Station. Even if she knows where he is all the way up to the ending, TIM can just move the station or (in the unlikely case the uber-paranoid Cerberus Leader didn't equip his personal base with a FTL drive for emergencies) simply abandon the base. It's equally likely that it is just a base with a panoramic view of a dying star or that the star is really just a hologram designed to inspire awe in those he talks to.
      • Oddly enough, the Redemption comics seem to imply that he is somewhere on Omega, at least for the duration of the comic. Liara goes to see him, and not through a holographic interface. He has a nice view there as well, but it does seem to be different from the game's dying star. It's possible that both cases are due to communications failure between the comic's artist and the main writing staff.
      • The Retribution novel says specifically that it's TIM's own personal station, crewed by utter fanatics, and he moves it each time one of his agents comes to visit. He also makes sure that he moves it to a place where his office has a view of something impressive.
      • Wherever it is, he must have easy access to Earth or other human worlds, because the Shadow Broker DLC files make it clear that he's cutting a wide swath through the most gorgeous human females in the galaxy.

     Morality and Shepard's response to working with Cerberus 
  • Why is the usual Paragon responses to be generally distrusting and unhelpful to Cerberus, while the Renegade is to forgive their past actions and being helpful? Cerberus spent quite alot of resources to bring Shepard back, and it seems like half the time Shepard wants to act like a big whiny baby about it, being completely disrespectful despite all they've sacrificed for him/her. It wouldn't be so bad if these options didn't come up all the time through the game...
    • Because Paragon Shepard doesn't forget just how often the organization has gleefully tapdanced past the Moral Event Horizon and recognizes that s/he is given all this stuff just because they're a valuable asset. The Illusive Man is very convincing and generally likable, but ultimately cannot be trusted. The constantly voiced hostility is probably a defense mechanism to ensure that the Commander doesn't allow themselves to be lulled into a false sense of security by all the new toys Cerberus gave them.
      • Renegade Shep also tends to be intensely pro-human and also willing to do whatever it takes to win, including working with a known terrorist group. Paragon Shep is the opposite. It's only natural that Renegade Shep would find working with Cerberus to be more acceptable while Paragon Shep would distrust them. Remember that for all their friendly and helpful facade, this is an organization that thinks its perfectly kosher to impale dozens of human colonists on husk-spikes and feed entire Marine platoons to Thresher Maws. Cerberus are not the good guys.
    • Completely disrespectful? Considering what Cerberus has done, Jacob and Miranda should thank their lucky stars that the game doesn't allow Shepard to attack them immediately upon learning they work for Cerberus. If anything Paragon Shepard working with Cerberus at all is way more implausible than "disrespecting" them. The only people in the game who react to Cerberus as they should considering their previous experiences with the organization are Ashley and Kaiden which oddly enough brings out many a complaint that they dare disrespect Shepard. For my money, they should tell Shepard to go to hell if he/she appears out of the blue and is working for a terrorist organization.
      • Paragon Shepard is initially willing to work with Cerberus because they brought Shepard back to life, and you don't do that unless its important. Note that in the initial conversations, the paragon-oriented response is to reluctantly work with Cerberus because they ressurected him/her, while the renegade-oriented response is a fairly blunt "screw Cerberus, I'm only doing this because it gets me off the station." The approaches eventually reverse after Freedom's Progress, when Shepard becomes aware that Cerberus is right, the Collectors are behind the missing colonies, and official support fromt he Council/Alliance will be difficult to secure. Shepard now knows what's going on but also is aware that Cerberus is unethical and monstrous. Paragon Shepard is willing to work with them only because they're supporting him/her, while renegade Shepard recognizes that Cerberus gets shit done.
    • I was under the impression that some of Cerberus' more unethical experiments were being run by rogue cells, and the Illusive Man put the kibosh on some of the worst ones. See Jack's loyalty mission.
      • No, TIM was authorized a large number of absolutely horrific experiments and many, many assassinations. He may have some standards, but he's still a dangerous zealot. Just read the novels for confirmation of that fact.
      • Plus the only reason you believe this is because TIM told you so. And Jack's loyalty mission should highlight that - there's a early holo... thingie that explicitly says something like "TIM will not be happy when he hears progress has gone sideways". Regardless of whether Jack was a TIM idea or not, TIM initiated the project to begin with. After all, you don't have all the money and power of TIM, build a hidden research base with kidnapped kids and then not pay attention.
      • If you talk to EDI after her restraints are removed, she tells you that Cerberus only has half a dozen or so operations running at once, because TIM likes to oversee each and every one personally. Now combine this knowledge with the curious fact that every single Cerberus operation that is blatantly unethical is claimed to have been done by "a rogue cell"...
    • I have to make a small note, generally bugging me being how all over the place the paragon and renegade decisions are. After TIM sends you onto the not-so-disabled Collector Ship, you(obviously) have the option to get pissed off at him for basically lying to you and almost getting you killed. Fair enough. Problem? These are the RENEGADE options. The paragon options are just to shrug it off. If Renegade Shepard is supposed to be going along with Shepard for the greater good no matter what, and Paragon Shepard not that, wouldn't the Paragon Shepard be getting mad at TIM?
      • Paragon Shepard never actually trusted TIM to begin with, so when TIM seemingly betrays the cause, Paragon Shepard isn't that surprised. Mostly because he expects that shoe to drop at some point. Renegade Shepard, while capable of understanding the situation, is angry not because of the apparent betrayal, but more because TIM doesn't believe you worthy of telling you the whole truth.
      • But wouldn't that then cause a Berserk Button moment for Paragon Shepard? I mean hell, TIM just endangered his entire crew on a stupid gamble.
      • Shepard might be pissed, but Paragon Shepard is nothing if not diplomatic and understanding. He might be nice and agreeing when it comes to TIM's apparent betrayal, but behind the mask he's likely seething with rage.
      • Plus, to an extent, Paragon Shep is also playing a very big Batman Gambit during ME 2. He/she knows TIM is bad. Shep knows TIM wants tech and will/can do bad things. But for the mean time, TIM is also helping Shep do good things. So Shep plays along far enough to find out what TIM is up to while gaining the support of non-Cereberus agents (and the agents working for Shep) and using TI Ms resources to do good ideas. The final Paragon decision is less of a "Stick a fork in ya TIM!" and more of the big reveal for TIM that Shep just played him big time.

     Husks on the Derelict Reaper 
  • Somewhat minor one , but after doing the Derilict Reaper on insane, I've got to ask: How many people did Cerberus have working on that damn thing?! Seriously, why so many? I'm going to go back through and actually count them on a casual run through, but damn, there had to be at least fifty, probably closer to a hundred, why would Cerberus pour that many valuable scientists into the thing? Wait, Cerberus, bad question, better question is where did they get that many scientists of the appropriate caliber/standards?! Kay, I'm done, just had to get that out.
    • There is a dialogue option available on the Derelict Reaper (may depend on who's in the party,) where Shepard states that the Cerberus crew was 100 in total. And this is a Derelict Reaper, wouldn't you want to throw some resources at it to unlock its secrets?
    • Many—maybe even most—were likely support staff. Guards and so on. A good example is the Lazarus project—it had basically two scientists, with an entire station for support.
      • How do we know that? We only saw two, but it doesn't mean there weren't more.
      • Shepard outright says there were at least a hundred personnel involved as part of the dialogue tree if you examine the "altar."
      • I'm talking about the Lazarus project, not the "disabled" Reaper.
    • More likely is that other explorers found the Reaper and entered, and got trapped inside and huskified too. It's been around 37 million years; someone else had to have found it. Note that the Reaper is still very much self-aware and active, even while disabled, when it seals Shepard and Co inside.
      • Are you suggesting that husks can survive for millions of years? I just took it as Gameplay And Story Segregation and went with it.
      • Uh, yeah? Husks are Reaper tech. Don't forget that while you are fighting the husks, you've been inside a 37 million-year-old, still functional starship corpse.
      • Every husk on that Reaper, every husk we've ever encountered was made from human corpses. It's the science team, period.
    • I'd like to know how this situation even happened in the first place. TIM needs to study the reapers, and this one seems to be dead. Still, he knows how insidious indoctrination is, and he doesn’t know that it’s completely dead – reaper tech is ridiculously advanced, and the thing’s still got power, hasn’t it? You’d think that Mr Chessmaster would keep the researchers under constant electronic surveillance and, you know, actually monitor their lab reports, and pull the plug at the first sign that something was up. Of course, one explanation is that he knew what was happening and let them get husk’d to study the process, but that seems like a huge waste of highly qualified scientists and staff.
      • TIM implicitly says that they lost contact with the team some time ago, but that it was far too dangerous to waste more "resources" (meaning human lives), until it turned out that they needed a Reaper IFF. Also, why does everyone assume that just because it's known that Reaper tech is dangerous, that everybody should be able to predict every single thing that goes wrong with it? How was anyone supposed to know that a "dead" Reaper can still generate power and mass effect fields? And even if they did know, EDI and the Reaper IFF prove that taking a risk to reverse-engineer Reaper tech is worth the effort.
      • You mean the IFF that would have gotten them all killed had Shepard's squad not happened to be out at the moment?
      • If that's the same IFF that allowed them to ultimately complete their mission, then yes, I mean that one.
    • We are wrong to assume that the scientists are all Cerberus, or that even most of them are. Think about it. You are a freelance but highly regarded scientist and research in the field of Plotconvenientresearchfield (say, robotic engineering or cybernetics or programming). Suddenly, you are approached by people who claim to be agents of a very, VERY wealthy individual who desires to remain anonymous, and tell you and your team that they have been authorized by their employer to make you a very lucrative offer that would free you from your deadbeat Alliance/Council/Independent/Self-Employed/Nonexistent jobs, giving you enough credits to buy the Citadel council a few times over and still have enough to live in luxury for the rest of your lives and your loved one's lives. All he asks is utter secrecy coupled with the willingness to take an all-expense-paid trip to an undiscosed location and conduct all-expense-paid research on a recent find of considerable historical import. If THAT fails, they probably are authorized to identify the finding (only, perhaps, as a Prothean ship), point out the fact that the finding is tied to the existance of the hemisphere-spanning Great Rift Valley of Klendagon and, if they REALLY need to, they can reveal that it is nearly identical to the supposed Geth Capitol ship that attacked the Citadel, but is millions of years old. Sure, it's Schmuck Bait, but for a researcher it is VERY tempting Schmuck Bait, and the simple fact is that once they were in, they couldn't get out.
    • Just out of curiosity, did we ever see a confirmation that the Great Rift on Klendagon and the direlict reaper were necessarily from the same engagement? Someone did the math on that 37 million years and that means the Reapers have done their thing at least 700 times.
      • Nice to see someone noticed my math homework. ^_^ The only direct "confirmation" we have of it is TIM's assertion that, based on data acquired from the Great Rift, Cerberus was able to locate the weapon that fired the shot and its intended target (the derelict). Granted, he could be lying, but (1) Why? and (2) How else did Cerberus locate the derelict? Plus, we don't really need confirmation: Canonically, the Great Rift was caused by a mass accelerator. The Rift is 37 million years old, thus, mass accelerators existed 37 million years ago. So even if that was the first-ever civilization to use mass effect technology, they still must have been wiped out by the Reapers. Actually, that would make perfect sense if that's the civilization that created the Reapers—hold on, I think I need to visit the Wild Mass Guessing page...
    • It's Cerberus. For all we know, they brought in people/corpses on purpose to huskify them. They were already doing that in the first game.
    • There's also the incorrect assumption that TIM cares about the scientists. He doesn't. He cares about the information and cares about their abilities but he doesn't care about their well-being unless it serves his purposes. He talks a lot about doing what needs to be done and all that; more than likely, as the crew was descending into indoctrination, he'd gotten what he needed and had another team on hand... to study in indoctrination.

     Inconsistencies with the Cain 
  • The M-920 Cain - the description mentions the round being accelerated to 5km/s, but in the game, it seems to travel much, much slower.
    • I've already saw this question on the gamefaqs forums. Many theories were proposed, none of them really satisfying. In my opinion, it's just an oversight from the devs, they probably used the balistic model of the Nade launcher and replace the tiny boom with a big bang, then forget to change it to fit the description. Note that the weapon itself in its concept is still problematic, as according to some calculations done on the gfaqs forums, projecting a bullet as small (25 grams I think) to 5 km\s will not create anything like what we see. I blame crazy eezo stuff.
      • 25 grams of a 'high explosive matrix'. That (probably) translates to a material kinda like thermite in that it has extremely high potential energy that's released when it hits something at really high speeds. That doesn't explain why it seems to go slow, but by rights you shouldn't be able to see the bullets from the rest of your guns either considering most of their lethality comes from extremely high speeds. I chalk up being able to see that stuff as Rule of Cool, because think about it: You fire the Cain at something after all that build up and there's just that big explosion compared to having that little 'poompf' and being able to see a little thing go off into the distance before there's hell on Earth/Illium/Tuchunka/etc.
    • Eh, the visuals in the game don't always match up to the fluff, deal with it. It's like how the Thanix Cannon is supposed to be firing relativistic rounds but the actual effect used only propagates at a few hundred meters per second.
      • Another example: Battle of the Citadel. Ships primarily use missiles to attack each other, even though the Codex (and some dialogue) says the primarily ship-to-ship weapon is the mass accelerator. According to Word of God, the animators never got the memo.

     Geth armatures and colossi 
  • Geth armatures suck. Like, they really suck. Wobbly, slow, and armed with an energy projector that fires an incredibly slow ball of plasma/whatever it is. My point is, they're supposed to be the geth equivalent of tanks. I wouldn't give an armature even half a chance against a contemporary Challenger II or M1 Abrams MBT. Hell, even a WWII-era Tiger tank has more maneuverability! On a related note, by the 2200's rocket turrets fire dumb missiles with nary a guided warhead in sight. A single M35 Mako ploughs through hundreds of the damn things!
    • A single Mako driven by the deadliest person in the galaxy. Now, I'm not saying that they're exceedingly effective weapons platforms, but they don't suck. Their primary weapons (the plasma ball thingy) is several degrees of magnitude more powerful than the Mako's (and is only slow by projectile standards). They are also similarly equipped with a light turret/machine gun that eats infantry alive. They're individually better armored and shielded than the Mako (as evidenced by one of them getting shot in the back by another's main gun and being tickled). And don't forget, there's hundreds of those things to your one Mako, numbers do count in war. Yes, the Mako is more mobile, but the Sherman was more mobile than the Panzer and look how those engagements usually turned out. This is all ignoring that Armatures are the Geth equivalents of tanks, NOT tanks, just the Geth equivalent to them. It's possible that under normal circumstances a Geth Armature 'see's' an enemy well before they see it, the armature calculates the best trajectory and fires on the enemy before they even realize its there, think about how often you get hit on Therum before you notice the armatures shooting at you. And just to reiterate: They're not tanks, they serve a similar purpose in deployments so that's what they get classified as, but they're not tanks. Besides them, the Geth have Colossi that serve when Armatures just aren't good enough. Everyone who played the games knows that a Colossus is not something to be trifiled with.
      • Exactly. The Armature is the geth equivalent of the infantry support tank. The Colossus is the geth equivalent of the main battle tank.
      • On foot, maybe. But a Colossus is simply a bigger Armature. You can still taunt it by repeatedly running it over, and it still hasn't got a hope in hell of hitting a fast-moving Mako. And it's laughably easy to cherry tap an Armature by grinding it under your wheels or flinging it off a cliff.
      • But you have to run it over, and it isn't exactly standard military procedure to charge right at the giant, heavily shielded and armored thing shooting at you. And seriously, would you expect a Mako to run over something THREE TIMES ITS SIZE with no damage to itself? I'll give you the fact that the Mako is more stable than the Geth Armatures and Collossi, but the game treats the Armatures as if they were made of plastic they're so light. Seriously, you slam a car into a semi at over 50 mph and while the semi is knocked over your car takes no damage? I call Acceptable Breaksfrom Reality, if you knocked it over and got it under your tires you could mess it up, but only after crashing right into it and tearing up your own vehicle (Also, running it over should take more than just tapping it with your vehicle, you'd have to charge straight at it and get hit by its 'slow moving projectile'). Which makes me think: If the Mako flips, it's screwed. If an Armature/Collossi gets knocked over/flipped, it gets back up. Also note: A Mako needs a lot of room to maneuver to take advantage of its speed, an Armature/Collossi can be deployed int (relatively) tight quarters and operate just fine. You'd have to be absurdly good to never get killed by these things when they have infantry support on Hardcore and Insane (the two difficulty levels that are closest to what Shepard and co. probably experience).
      • Insane isn't close to what Shepard would probably experience, judging by what I've read - someone mentioned hitting a vorcha with a missile launcher and not killing it. Which is just, you know, insane. And maybe it's just because I suck or something, but I die enough on Normal not to really want to ramp up the difficulty (oh, the joys of playing with a laptop touchpad...). But that's besides the point. I'm well aware that actually being hit by an Armature or Colossus' main projectile does a lot of damage to the Mako - but it's still easy to get up a good speed, have it miss, and then proceed with Cherry Tapping after having softened it up with the main gun a bit (admittedly, it's impossible as far as I'm aware to kill a Colossus by running it over). As for the Mako's being damaged in real life if Shepard actually tried this sort of thing, we are talking about the APC that can fall off a mountain and maybe damage a wheel a little bit. I think my main gripe with both Armatures and Colossi is speed. A modern main battle tank (fine, Armatures aren't tanks, but lighter vehicles tend to be faster anyway) can go up to speeds of 40mph or more. An Armature can barely go about 10mph. Couple that with its slow-if-deadly gun with slow rate of fire and poor armour, and you have something more akin to a V3 Launcher than a Rhino.
    • Judging by what we've seen of geth battle doctrine, armatures aren't intended for armored assault; they're support weapons for the geth "infantry." The geth use dropships for rapid assaults instead of armor, which only makes sense in a setting where everyone and their mother has access to warships with mass accelerators that can bomb stuff from orbit. If the geth need to take a ground location, they bomb the area around it, swoop in with their dropships and deploy ground troops, and then support them from overhead with their dropships. The armatures themselves are less tanks and more like walking machinegun/anti-tank emplacements. Also consider that the geth kind of blur the line between what we would consider armor and infantry; geth platforms like the juggernauts and primes are pretty much walking tanks anyway, and if ME 2 i any indication, the "regular" geth deploy primes at the "platoon" level (this is, of course, assuming that the geth use anything resembling organic force organization.) I'd personally look at the armatures and collossi as defensive units over offensive units anyway; almost all of the scenarios in both games involves Shepard attacking the geth, and the geth using armatures and collossi to fortify their positions. Well-positioned collossi would probably be hell to fight if they're in a good position. Hell, a single collossus with a couple dozen geth infantry platforms was a full-on boss in ME 2, and that thing had a very good defensive position.

     AI Hacking and removing defenses 
  • Okay, this has been bothering me, I can understand AI hacking not working on a synthetic with active shielding, but WHY, oh WHY would blasting off it's armor suddenly let you hack it when you couldn't before?! What is it about extra armor plating that prevents me from sending a signal to a robot?! Especially a Geth which needs it's wireless connection! Phew, had to get that one out.
    • Truth in Television. Armor plating blocks electronic signals. Just about all modern vehicles with any amount of armor plating are practically immune to ECM and especially EMP, because armor serves as an effective Faraday Cage.
      • Ah, thanks, that helps. But while that explains YMIR mechs, it doesn't really explain how it helps a Geth Prime or such as they are constantly streaming data in and out. It'd stop Overload from working well, but why would it stop a hacking attempt in their case?
      • If the geth understand information security to even the slightest degree - which only makes sense, considering all of LEGION's dialogue - they lock down incoming information the moment combat begins. If they're not receiving any information, they can't be hacked remotely.
      • But that doesn't make any sense since on their own, geth are dumb as dirt. The only reason they have any tactics at all is due to their connection to the collective. Legion's body was specifically designed to hold more programs so that it could function cut off from the others.
      • Yeah, the geth are dumb as dirt. Have you noticed any particularly stellar tactics on their part once combat has begun? They have intelligence comparable to animals on their own, and note that whenever you fight them, their tactics tend to be pretty straightforward and simplistic - like animals.
      • The same applies to all the enemies in the game, even humans. Chalk it down to AI limitations gameplay wise. When large numbers of geth are together, they network to each other in order to produce higher cognitive functions. There is no difference in gameplay, however.
      • Actually, there is a notable difference between the geth in combat and organic soldiers. This can be observed in-game; organic soldiers flank a lot more and are more aggressive. Geth are much slower, don't flank as much, and tend to be defensive and static.
      • Actually, the Geth do seem to have different tactics than the organic soliders, but not the way the above poster means. Loki mechs and such always just walk as close to Shepard as they can get and keep shooting, half of the time they don't even go around the cover Shepard is hiding behind. However, when there are a number of Geth some will stay back to keep shooting while others try to swarm you. Yet, when there's only a few Geth, they just act like Loki mechs.

     Cheating in Mass Effect 2 
  • This troper knows it's only on the fan wiki, but I'm going to be profoundly bugged if my relationships in Mass Effect 2 is going to be considered cheating when Mass Effect 3 rolls around.
    • Only if you had a relationship in ME 1, as well.
    • What's the problem? You never officially break up, and as far as Shepard is concerned, the game takes place immediately after the destruction of the SR-1.
      • That's just it, Shepard knows its been two years, and he's been dead for those years, and both love interests (in my case, Liara) have obviously moved on and aren't willing to go with you. Also, my Shep's picture of Liara in his cabin was knocked facedown at one point, and I believe it happened after I met her again. From a thematic and mechanic viewpoint, giving the players a whole bunch of romantic options and then later explaining that you were a cheating bastard for doing it seems like a Player Bitch Slap to me.
      • The portrait gets knocked down when you start to romance another character, it has nothing to do with meeting the LI in question. If you don't romance anybody, you get a scene of Shepard looking at it longingly just before the final battle. And Liara has in no sense moved on. On the contrary she's spent the last two years obsessing over Shepard. Her chrusade against the Shadow Broker is due the fact that the Broker tried to sell Shepard's body to the Collectors, and she was the one to hand it over to Cerberus, because they promised they could resurrect him/her. If you do all her quests and pressure her enough, she'll admit all this, as well as that she fears that you hate her for what she's done.
      • Also, if you reject whatever romance you've got into, the picture will go back up.
    • I know what you mean. Every romance consists of you talking a few times to the person, almost-kissing them, and then actually kissing them right before sleeping together. That's it. Kaidan and Ashley (not sure about Liara) tell you that they loved you - past tense. They moved on. Refused to help you or even trust you. Kaidan mentions he started sort of seeing a doctor on the Citadel. I think after Horizon that certianly counts as a end relationship.
      • After Horizon, if Kaiden or Ashley was your love interest, you'll get a note from them saying that they wanted to keep at it under less stressful situations. He or she has been trying to move on, but your reappearance only screwed that up.
      • Kaidan/Ashley's post-Horizon email really seems to imply that the relationship might be able to continue after things settle down. I certainly hope so.
      • Liara definitely hasn't moved on. She's the one responsible for getting the body to the Illusive Man so he could rebuild Shepard. When Shep and Liara meet again, they kiss, but they never really discuss their relationship.
    • It probably won't be considered cheating, exactly, otherwise Kaidan at least would have also cheated on you while you were dead. Judging from the emails, it sounds like the ME 1 love interest will be willing to try a reconciliation, and you'll eventually have to choose between ME 1 and ME 2. (Which may or may not involve some kind of showdown between the two.) At least, this is the scenario that I'm hoping for.
      • Could you imagine what it would be like if ME 3 introduced new party members (and new romances), thus allowing players to cheat on their mates in both ME 1 and ME 2?? Sigh ... I know that it's about giving players choice, but this is becoming seriously disturbed ...
      • You assume that anyone who plays ME 1 and imports into ME 2 will end ME 2 with an active romance. Some will kill off their significant other on Virmire, and then allow their second one to die during the Suicide Mission. Others still will take the celebate hero route. You're suggesting that those people should have zero options in ME 3?
      • Kaidan has the excuse that Shepard was dead, and for all he knew, Shepard wasn't going to come back to life ever. Because people don't usually do that. Shepard does not have that excuse, since she knows that Kaidan is still alive. And note that after you leave Horizon (and your lover finds out that you're alive), you immediately get an email stating they want to get back with you during the events of ME 3.
      • An excellent point. It still probably couldn't be considered cheating, though, since technically at that point you aren't together. You have the option to get BACK together, or you can ignore it and take up with someone new. Hopefully we'll see the ramifications of this in ME 3.
    • It's expected that "cheating" will have negative consequences in ME 3, possibly meaning getting back together with your Mass Effect love interest will be harder or even impossible to accomplish if you indeed did get with someone else. In the cases of Ashley and Kaidan, the emails they send show a desire to try to rekindle (or reaffirm, depending on how you view it) the relationship. Shepard getting with someone else only to dump them when Ashley or Kaidan gets back doesn't exactly send the message that Shepard is looking for a committed relationship. If Shepard decides to stay with their second love interest, it's not too difficult to see Ashley or Kaidan being a bit torn up about that. They will probably not get as angry as if you had cheated on them but it's possible they'll hold a little resentment towards Shepard and/or the other person.
    • From Lair of the Shadow Broker: it's possible to continue a relationship with Liara if you cheated on her. Presumably this applies to Ashley and Kaidan as well.

     Characters using guns they shouldn't 
  • This problem seems to crop up in Mass Effect 2 alot more than it did in Mass Effect 1, and it's starting to bug me. Why does Shepard keep getting an Assault Rifle shoved in their hands in cutscenes? Couldn't they have just used a pistol? Atleast every class has one of those...
    • Most cutscenes s/he'll be holding the machine pistol/SMG. But that brings up a whole other problem, in that if you're a Soldier he'll still have it in cutscenes... even though you can't carry it! The assault rifle bug also shows up for other characters - see the Suicide Mission/ Derelict Reaper.
      • It's not a bug, just the way the cutscenes were programmed. They'd need to create a completely new cutscene with completely new motion-capture if they wanted to accurately reflect what weapon each particular class is using - which would take a lot of extra work, as it would involve essentially creating an entirely new cutscene. And since assault rifles fire differently from other weapons, they'd have to reprogram how the weapons are firing int he scene, and then reprogram the sounds. In short, for nearly every variation of character and weapon, they'd have to program up a completely new cutscene. That would take a bit of time. Arming everyone with assault rifles is a hell of a lot easier.
      • I sorry, but this CG artist must contradict you. Motion capture animation can be redone by hand with only a few minor hassles, in fact very rarely will any production house use the raw motion capture data. They always tweek it by hand to smooth out errors and because good animation should be more exaggerated. The reprogramming of the different weapons is a valid point, though. But mostly its just time constraints.
      • It's still annoying that they didn't just do it with pistols. That assault rifle that keeps warping into Tali's hands gets quite annoying, after awhile.
      • Why pistols? Assault rifles are a better weapon overall, and the majority of the crew can use them. Realistically speaking, everyone on the Normandy should be proficient in their use.
      • The biggest reason I see, is that as good as Assault Rifles are, I just don't see Jack or Samara using an assault rifle and increasing their performance. Mostly since you don't usually have a free hand to use biotics when you're firing your assault rifle, whereas you do with a pistol. Although, I disagree with the concept that these characters are better off with a pistol than an assault rifle in the suicide mission. Sure they have biotics, but they'd have an easier time using them knowing that every minute or so they can stop firing because there are 6 other people at that choke-point firing an assault rifle themselves.
      • Samara can use Assault Rifles normally, by the way.
      • WRT the aiming thing, that's not really an issue here. Properly-trained people do not fire their pistol one-handed if they can avoid it; basic pistol training demands you handle it with two hands. Also, using biotics generally only requires a quick gesture with the off hand. That's something that is commonplace in real word militaries, i.e. a squad leader will hold his rifle with the stock braced against his shoulder and make quick hand gestures to his troops. The weapon is still kept steady on the target; in fact, the rifle is kept steadier by bracing against your shoulder than a pistol would be in one hand. Hand gestures associated with biotics are much the same, so there's no reason to favor a pistol over an assault rifle if you're a biotic, unless you just haven't been trained in using them or you prefer something like shotguns or heavy pistols with higher caliber/raw force, like the Carnifex.

     Council response to Horizon 
  • I know we've firmly established that the Council are in complete denial of the Reapers and don't give a damn about human colonies, but the events of Horizion just bug me. Here we have evidence of the Collectors disabling and abducting half of a colony. We have numerous eyewitness reports from both colonists and a trusted Alliance officer (one with no connections to known terrorists) confirming their presence and dispelling any illusions that mundane threats were involved. This mysterious group, well known for abuducting members of numerous species, has not only shifted focus towards one particular species, something completely unprecedented, but also increased the scale of their attacks to from a few dozen to tens of thousands. They've proven that they have the technology to disable something as large as an entire colony, manipulate a mass relay, and both track and destroy one of the most advanced starships in existence. Reapers or no, politics or none, you can't tell me that none of this warrants even a little concern. This Troper is normally a (nearly)full Paragon, but was severely tempted to just let the geth blow them up after that.
    • The colonies being abducted are all in the Terminus Systems, where the Alliance and the Council don't dare go to. If the Collectors began targetting Alliance or Council space, the human and turian fleets would stop them fairly easily. Anyway by the time Horizon gets attacked, the Council already know that Shepard is looking into what's going on. The Council have already dealt with the problem on their end as Shepard's activity means that a Spectre is on the case, even if they didn't give him explicit orders. Remember that the Council just leaves Spectres to investigate what they want. It's only occassionally that they give direct assignments.
    • Yeah, it's fairly explicitly stated in-game that the Collectors are restricting their attacks to the Terminus Systems. The Citadel fleets cannot directly intervene in any way in anything happening in the Terminus because that will trigger a war. And the Council letting a Spectre take care of the issue is also explictly stated as being only one step removed from direct military intervention. Letting Shepard deal with the Collectors is the only thing the Council can do about them without resorting to an all-out war with the Terminus, which ends badly either way.
      • There's also the fact that those colonies were built in the Terminus to get away from the Alliance. They don't want the Alliance to help them, and many of them see the GARDIAN defense system and Kaidan/Ashley's presence as a violation of their sovereignty.
    • Of course the Collectors warrant concern. However, the simple fact of the matter is that the Collectors are too small a threat from the Council's perspective. Look at the situation the Council is in: they have to deal with the social, political, economic, and military problems of an entire freaking galaxy. The Collectors are a single small aspect of that galaxy. Yes, they're targeting human colonies, but so are dozens of pirate and slaver groups. Yes, they've abducted tens of thousands of human colonists. That's a drop in the bucket when it comes to slaver attacks across the entire galaxy. With thousands of colony worlds for every species, with probably trillions of sapients to worry about, the Collector threat is, quite simply, a minor problem as far as the Council is concerned, restricted to an area of space that they have no jurisdiction over.
      • All of this holds true, as long as the Council is still made up of four major species. But if the Council is made up of all humans, it makes a lot less sense that they'd just let such a major threat to humanity pass by. (Even the connection with Cerberus would be less of a deterrent; while I doubt that any of the human politicians would shout it from the rooftops, I would be VERY surprised if none of them quietly agreed with Cerberus's philosophy.)
      • Horizon is in the Terminus, which is OUTSIDE of the Council's jurisdiction. Going in there would cause all the disparate colonies and races to unite. The Council would no doubt win the resulting war, but at a tremendous cost. By the way, we never actually see the Council taking any steps against the Collectors, but that doesn't mean they didn't. Any response to Horizon would have to be covert to avoid arousing suspicion. Not to mention the colonists would probably refuse any help the Alliance or Council might offer. They went out there to get away from them, and at least one of them blames the Alliance's gun turrets for bringing the Collectors down on them. They're only half right.

     The human embassy post-Battle of the Citadel 
  • Why is Anderson/Udina still in the old human embassy on the Citadel? Shouldn't they be in the Council Chambers nowadays, especially if humanity took over the Council?
    • The meta reason is that the Council chamber is both large and detailed and would take a lot of time to recreate. The Council clearly aren't the focus of this story and the Council chamber would've taken too much effort to make, only to make it appear in a single equivalent of a cutscene. In-universe reason...I dunno, Shepard's death and now apparent resurrection warranted a private audition that took place in the human embassy for convenience's sake as this is where Anderson/Udina usually carries out his non-Council duties? After all, given the Council's strong denial about the Reapers, they obviously wouldn't want Shepard shouting 'BIG GENOCIDAL ROBOTS ARE COMING TO KILL US ALL, THE COUNCIL IS LYING TO YOU!' at your typical council crowd that usually gathers during normal hearings. Given how his last 'insane' claims turned out, Shepard would have enough influence to incite a moral panic amongst the station.
    • Alternate explanation (I'm big on bashing ye ol' council at every opportunity), they deliberately keep Udina/Anderson away as much as possible from the habitual council stuff in a not too subtil attempt of saying "Look, we gave humanity a seat because we were high on adrenaline and victory euphoria and now we really, really regret it, so forget about us will you?".
      • That only works if you saved the Council; even if Anderson/Udina is the Council's Chairman, or if the Council consists solely of humans, they'll still be at the Embassy. Couldn't they at least had a nice office in the Tower to meet Shepard in?
    • It could easily be because Shepard is working for Cerberus. The Council considers you a potential security threat, so they only will meet you via holographic display. Otherwise, it is likely because the Embassy is a small, relatively secure location, as opposed to the large, wide-open Council Chambers. Better place to meet privately.
    • In the first game, most of the time the council are not seen in the council chamber - they're only there when they're holding formal sessions/hearings. I always assumed that each counciller had an office elsewhere on the Presidium to handle most of their business, and only met in formal session when necessary. So the human embassy, which always doubled as Udina's office, has just become the office/embassy of the human councilor. We're seeing the day-to-day business of the council now, rather than their formal sessions.
    • Another point is that a lot of debris from Sovereign hit the Tower, as seen when your team nearly gets crushed underneath it. It's possible that they haven't finished restoring the place, or have left the debris there and sealed the area so they can study it without having to move it all.

     Mordin's outfit 
  • Why does Mordin have hinges on his legs and hands? Does he have mechanical limbs?
    • No, he wears armour.
  • What the heck is that thing around Mordin's neck?
    • A very important, high-tech thingamabob of some kind or another.
    • Probably for communication.
  • What is up with his helmet in the field missions? It looks like he took the ring of a toilet seat, pulled it to his head and covered it with plastic wrap. It just looks ridiculous. The game is filled with fantastic scenarios and techno-gear and that's what the designers came up when modeling Mordin's field armor? No...I just...cannot comprehend it.

     Mass Effect sci-fi elements 
  • What is up with all the hard vs. soft scifi arguments going on surrounding this series? From what I've seen, the writers go out of their way to keep up as much science as possible while keeping up some classic 80's fiction tropes. It seems pretty hard to me despite those inherent limitations.
    • Mass Effect is hard on the scale of light space operas, but on an absolute scale it's still quite light with its Rubber-Forehead Aliens, telepathic alien beacons and many other things too numerous to list.
    • There's also the titular Mass Effect, which, in addition to being completely fictional, is basically the magic of the setting. Something doesn't make sense? Mass Effect fields.
      • Mass effect doesn't fall under A Wizard Did It. ME fields and biotics are consistently explained within the setting and have limitations.
      • Agreed. Element Zero and ME Fields are far more Minovsky Physics than A Wizard Did It.
      • While the the effects of element zero and Mass Effect fields are properly explained in the Codex, it still does things that it really, really shouldn't. Dominate and Reave, anyone?
      • Two abilities used by two very powerful members of a naturally biotic species. Given that Dominate is expressly stated as an Ardat-Yakshi ability, I'm guessing that Bizarre Alien Biology is a major factor in both cases. This is a species that can meld it's nervous system to another. So it still seems pretty well-defined given the rules of the setting.
      • Reave is just a more specialized version of warp and Dominate is less of a purely biotic ability than just Morinth doing her usual brainwashing with a Barrier added in.

     Shepard's powers as a biotic 
  • How does a human become as powerful a biotic as Shepard? Kaidan is suggested to be roughly on par with an asari, who are presumably among the most talented biotics in the galaxy. But he says that this is because of his L2 implant, which makes him more powerful than L3 biotics. If Shepard is a biotic, however, he notes that he/she is an exception, meaning that Shepard is presumably more powerful than Kaidan, and by proxy, well-trained asari. This is especially problematic when you consider that neither the Earthborn or Colonist Shepard had access to biotic training until they were at least sixteen.
    • And? The studies on human biotics are still extremely experimental. Nobody really knows how to draw out more potential, just how to nuture what the candidate happens to already have. Even with the same implants, there's no guarantee that two candidates would be as powerful as each other. The entire reason Cerberus worked on Jack and Gillian revolve around this point. It just so happened that Shepard, if you choose to make him/her biotic, was one of the rare exceptionally powerful human biotics who rose to a high rank by taking advantage of their talent (or using it alongside a technical skills or combat prowess).
    • Shepard is also an exception to the rule; when Kaidan is questioned about the L2s, he mentions that Shepard is the only L3 biotic who has as much kick as him. Shepard is simply exceptionally capable.
      • And when you think about it, Shepard is as skilled as Samara/Morinth, who are hundreds of years old, and is able to defeat a powerful biotic Matriarch and her squad of commandos. It might say Jack is the most powerful human biotic, but Shepard is clearly more powerful.
      • Not necessarily. Samara, Morinth and Jack are much more capable in the cutscenes, and those commandos in the first game aren't described as being exceptional.
      • There are two tropes to define exactly why Samara, Morinth, and Jack seem so powerful: Cutscene Power to the Max and Never Trust a Trailer. The awesome amazing things they do are only achievable out-of-combat...and since Jack is closer to a Vanguard than an Adept, Adept Shepard is disgustingly more powerful than at least Jack as a biotic.
    • Beginning of ME 2, when Shepard is being rebuilt, it's mentioned that he's getting L5 implants.
      • One of two types of L5 implants, I might add. The L5x is for Adepts and lets them spawn singularities, and the L5n for Vanguards that lets them do the SHEPARD CHAGRE.

     Shepard's backgrounds 
  • Why is the Butcher of Torfan as widely acknowledged as a hero as the Savior of Elysium? Presumably someone saved Elysium if you take the Ruthless path, and someone fought in Torfan if you took the War Hero path, and two other people must have done both if you took the Sole Survivor path. Where are they, and why is Shepard still the Big Damn Hero?
    • The most likely answer is that whatever accomplishments you don't pick are done by several groups of soldiers working together, instead of one person. So the events still happened, there just wasn't a single hero to give credit to at the end of it.
    • To elaborate a bit further (and this is partly backed up by in-game sources):
      • Akuze: There was no "Sole Survivor". If you run into Toombs, he makes it clear he was the only survivor of the massacre - and he was taken by Cerberus for study.
      • Elysium: Shepard is said to have "rallied" the survivors, risked his life to save others, and eventually repel the attackers. Meanwhile, an Alliance fleet arrives in orbit and defeats the slaver fleet. The Codex is pretty clear that without support from orbiting warships, any attack or defense of a planet will fail. So, there are two possibilites: either the ground defenders fell and the planet was later retaken by the Alliance fleet, or the defenders will still able to hold out, albeit at a much higher cost and without a clear "hero".
      • Torfan: The battle takes place much as it did when Shepard was there: a huge number of dead marines, and the bases completely wiped out. Possibly the only difference is there was no "Butcher" spurring the marines forward, oblivious to the death and destruction, concerned only with murdering every last batarian on the moon.
    • Actually, I never really saw that the "Butcher" got referenced by anyone other than Major Kyle. The Savior of Elysium gets referenced over and over, but not Ruthless backgroud. People talked about what you did on Torfan, but those that did where just people who had reason to know about it. The phrase "Butcher of Torfan" is only referenced by Major Kyle, to my knowledge. And that might not even be your title (since it's derogatory), rather something Kyle calls you out of hate for what happened.
    • The background-ambiance news goes on and on and on about Torfan when you're wandering around Illium, iirc. "Protesters attempting to extinguish the Shepherd Memorial flame" and all that jazz.
  • On a semi-related note. The one time your upbringing should be relevant in a conversation, it isn't brought up. This being when Tali and Shep are on board The Alarei. Tali confronts Shepard with "You have a planet to go back to. My home is one hull-breach away from extinction!" I wanted to say, "Tali, Earth isn't my home. I grew up in a military family moving from one starship to another just like you. If a human can find a home in space, then surely you could." No cigar. It would be nice if your upbringing mattered as much as your service record.
    • Not even close to the same thing. This isn't about individuals. Shepard as one person may live on a starship, but Shepard's species can practically live anywhere he/she wants. What you're saying is like an Anglo-Saxon telling a Native American "oh sure, your entire tribe's one step away from being extinct forever, but I don't have any family either because I was adopted". Making the comparison is just insulting.
    • This Troper had a similar moment on Grunt's Loyalty Mission. When I saw the Thresher Maw, my first thought was Akuze. I was expecting some kind of dialogue, just one line, ranging from "Don't worry, I've taken these things out before" to "Oh god, not again..." to a full Heroic BSoD "The Thresher Maws...not the Thresher Maws!". That it wasn't mentioned was a major disappointment.
      • You can encounter at least three more Thresher maws in ME 1. Presumably, Shepard's even encountered them before Eden Prime. Shepard is a stable human being, and has since dealt with it. Seizing up during battle is not something that a battle-hardened warrior like Shepard should do. S/he's not Samus. Honestly, the most egregious example is not reacting to Cerberus as a Sole Survivor, but that's been recounted previously.

     Squad loyalty powers 
  • What exactly are the squad's loyalty powers, anyway? Are they abilities they've always had, but refused to use, or are they just so inspired by Shepard's efforts that they research and create one extra ability just to aid the mission?
    • Seeing how you need to do a loyalty mission before they're unlocked and after that, you can reverse engineer them and apply them to your own Shepard, perhaps the squadmates didn't show you their special abilities because they didn't trust you?
    • To a degree, it appears to be an ability they've always had. Miranda is able to use Slam during her mission, for example, and Mordin was stated as being able to use Neural Shock on the Blue Suns mercenaries. You can probably just chalk it up to gameplay, though, the same way Shepard can suddenly learn how to use new powers after acquiring an arbitrary number of experience points.
      • I find it strange that a non-biotic Shepard can use biotic abilities. Powerful ones. My fanwanky explanation is that Shepard is always a biotic, he/she just chose not to train in his/her abilities if he/she is an Engineer/Infiltrator/Soldier.
      • I fanwanked that my soldier Shep acquired a biotic ability via the Cerberus rebuild.
    • I imagine it varies depending on the individual. Morinth comes pre-loyal, so the in-character explanation would be that she doesn't mind Shepard knowing that she can rape minds from the get-go. Jacob may not have had the focus necessary to maintain a Barrier, which makes sense, given that he fails if you ask him to make the barrier on the Collector base. Miranda may have learned Slam during her loyalty mission when she flat out goes crazy on the asari bitch that killed her friend. Energy Drain could be a guarded quarian secret, making Tali hesitant to reveal it around Cerberus until she's loyal enough to Shepard. Grunt might just have not cared about helping Shepard until s/he became Grunt's Battlemaster. Zaeed actually uses his technique during his loyalty mission; maybe Shepard went up to him after and said, "Hey, you know that thing you did with the heat sink? Keep doing that." Mordin might not have felt comfortable showing the fact that he can torture people with science until it became obvious that Shepard was okay with him. Legion may have stolen the shield schematics from the heretics. Jack may have learned Warp Ammo as a child, maybe during her escape, and didn't want to actually use it until she put the facility behind her. Garrus and Kasumi might have learned their respective techniques from Sidonis and Keiji, respectively, making them unwilling to use them until they've dealt with their baggage. And as for Thane... "You know all that assassination I do? Here's how I do it more efficiently." Yeah, I'd wait for that one too.
    • I fanwanked them as abilities which are exceptionally difficult for the characters to perform, and thus they can't pull them off until they clear their baggage and are able to focus wholly on the mission.
      • This makes a large amount of sense, but I'm also going to suggest that your logic with Grunt of him knowing how but not wanting to use it could carry over to others, especially Jack. Jack hates a lot of things, including herself, and Cerberus (who comprises most of the people she's working with). So it makes complete sense that she's only putting in half-effort. But, when you help her blow up the base she used to live in, she's noticed that she actually does have something to fight for, and so starts putting her all into it. You can carry similar logic with Tali (didn't trust Cerberus until you actually helped her) and Legion (was apprehensive about working with Shepard).
    • Personally, I went with the following rationals for the unique squad powers; Jacob had been working on making a barrier and only succeeded after his mission, Miranda came up with it on the spot, Garrus found it among some computer files (you DO find a Sniper Rifle damage upgrade on his loyalty mission) during the raid on Harkin's base(it's got Blue Suns in it, after all), Mordin had been trying to make his stunning toxin thing more combat capable and picked up on how from records either at the krogan hospital or in Maelon's research, Grunt got it as part of joining clan Urdnot(or that part of his imprints finally made sense and he figured out how to work it), Jack found a description of how to do Warp Ammo (or just apply biotics to bullets) on the way out of the facility, Zaeed came up with it after torching Vido (or found a crate of the things and looted them as he and Shepard left), Kasumi looted some flashbangs from the Eclipse mercs you fight (seeing as they're the only enemies in the game that use at all), Tali found the info for the energy drain on the Alarei, Thane found out about Shredder Ammo from Kolyat (bit of a stretch, but could also have been found and worked on for a while, just completed after the mission), Samara somehow siphoned how to do Reave out of Morinth (she DOES crush Morinth's head), Morinth just doesn't care, and Legion acquired the Shield Boost from the Heretic Station. Of course this is all fanwank, but it's pretty reasonable to think about.
    • Lair of the Shadow Broker confirms that Tali's loyalty ability was acquired from the quarian Admiral who was friends with her father. He supplied her with the specs after they complete the raid on the Alarei.

     Miranda and sex in the engineering room 
  • What's the deal with Miranda's romance scene? It essentially makes Miranda - and by extension, Shepard - exhibitionists. You could say that no one actually sees them, but then Kasumi comes along and says she does. So, what, does Kasumi have cameras all over the ship, or did she stealth-cloak and follow them - which just turns Kasumi into a goddamn stalker. And why the engine room? The hard, cold metal surface next to a functional fusion reactor is somehow preferable to the bed in Shepard's cabin? What, does the presence of an element-zero drive somehow boost her biotics? Are there fewer surveillance devices in engineering than in their cabins, ensuring that Cerberus/The Illusive Man isn't watching? ... Why yes, this is something I have thought about before.
    • * Ahem* And I quote:
      Miranda: I want everyone onboard to know you're mine.
      • Um...
      Shepard: And in order to do that, we have to have sex in front of them? Why not pee on my bed instead, since that seems to be the level you're working on?
      • ... Yeah, no. Miranda is an exhibitionist. Proven, essentially, by the scene. Of course, there could be another way of looking at it. Where is the most likely place that Cerberus surveillance devices are least likely to be effective? Perhaps near the functioning fusion reactor? Miranda likely doesn't care that anyone could watch through a window, but at least cleared the Engine Room. Basically making it so that one has to actively look if they want to see the coitus. And Miranda, working for Cerberus, knows that if one wants to see something enough, they'll find a way to do so.
      • Who is Miranda's arch-enemy on the Normandy? Jack. Who bunks literally directly below the spot you have sex. Miranda is rubbing it in Jack's face.
    • For a more silly reason better suited to poor fanfiction. Miranda wants to send a very clear message to Tali (whose crush on Shepard seems to be pretty common knowledge) that she lost. What better way to express her point than to do Shepard in public view, in an area which is most definitely Tali's territory.
      • Well this troper tried to see that spot after the fact, and found that the windows the looked out onto the reactor don't actually show you the spot were they do it, try looking for it, you can't, but it does add to the kinky factor to say the least.
      • Actually that's not quite true. You can see the reflection quite clearly in the drive core. It would actually put Shepard and Miranda at eye level if anyone was looking out the crew quarter windows. Like Thane.
      • Unless Thane is elsewhere, or the windows can be sealed like the ones in Observation... *sigh* goddamnit Miranda, why do you continue to give me reasons to hate you?
      • Not to mention that you can refuse to have sex with her in that scene, if you want to, implying Shepard would prefer to do it someplace more private. If you agree, it simply means that yes, Shepard has no problems doing it semi-openly on his own ship when no one is immediately looking.
      • But that does carry over? If you talk to her afterward she acts like you're still in a relationship, but you don't get the Paramour achievement.
      • This is how I explained it away... and then Kasumi comes along, and basically goes, "Holy shit, that was money well spent, wasn't it?" So either the whole thing was perfectly visible by the entire crew, the part the player sees is seen by the rest of the crew and then they move elsewhere, or Kasumi was purposely spying on Shepard. Which just opens up more questions.
    • Let's look at it this way: everyone on the ship is well aware there are listening devices all over it. Where are the most advanced, most undetectable of these devices going to be? The Captain's Cabin. Where are the second most advanced, most undetectable devices going to be? Miranda's office. After that, anywhere on the ship is fair game. Might as well be the engine room, seeing as you can easily seal it off, and no one lives there.
    • As for the windows, you can't actually see down there from Deck 3, and you have to try hard to see anything from Deck 2. They're about to go through the Omega-4 Relay, who's going to waste time staring at the Reactor? And of the two people who can see anything - Mordin doesn't care, and Jacob is Miranda's old flame. Hell of a way to say "you had your chance".
    • As for Kasumi... no idea.
      • Well, she does like Jacob. She looks out of the window (next to the dark corner she's stalking him) and bam!
      • Kasumi's dialogue cycles just like Zaeed's. One line she says: "People are talking out there. And I hear everything." Holy shit, she has her own listening devices in the ship. And she makes a comment about Ken and Gabby making a good couple. She's been listening in to their banter, and picks up Shepard and Miranda going at it! It all makes sense!
      • In the Suicide Mission, Kasumi's the # 1 option for whoever gets killed if you don't have the shield upgrade. She was working in Engineering, gets some weird order from EDI to clear the engine room, decides to stick around and see what's what, sticks her tactical cloak on, and catches Shepard and Miranda. The only problem is how she gets out of there. That's assuming she didn't hang around to watch the whole thing. It's, in her own words:
      Kasumi: Creepy.
      • Then again, I suppose you could argue that Kasumi isn't entirely canon, given some of the other comments she makes. She's paid DLC unlike Zaeed, so not everyone is going to have her.
      • It's a fact that Kasumi does see you do the deed. If you talk to her later she'll eventually mention it and chastise you.
Kasumi:"Really Shepard, in the Engine Room... right there where Tali works,"
Kasumi: And exactly how much is Miranda genetically modified, 'cause I mean - wow."

     Legion being knocked out 
  • How did that husk knock Legion unconscious? Is it even possible to knock a geth out with a punch? Legion says later that he wouldn't even feel it if Grunt punched him, and I'm pretty sure that a husk can't be much stronger than a krogan. Besides, I would think a geth's "brain" would be somewhere in its torso, which makes Legion dropping to a whack to the "face" even more silly.
    • do realize you can punch geth "unconscious" in both games, right?
    • Ever smacked a piece of electronics with a hammer? That tends to knock them offline for a while. Legion wasn't "knocked out" in the traditional sense, but it was going to stay offline without a reboot.
      • I guess I'm more bugged about the "punch to the face" aspect then the "knocked out" aspect, although I'd still expect the electronics in a semi-organic advanced evolving machine to be a bit more robust.
      • Again, you can punch geth "unconscious" yourself. Its simply a case of applying enough kinetic energy through blunt force trauma to disrupt their electronics. The husk simply hit Legion hard enough to disable their machinery until they were rebooted.
    • Geth are physically kind of delicate anyway; the game itself points out that geth have strong shields but minimal armor. It kind of fits too, considering the geth have no real survival instinct whatsoever, and individual geth programs can be backed up and restored without any issues.
    • Considering that husks actually hit hard enough to bother Grunt.

     The Connection Between the Collectors and Reapers 
  • Why does Shepard take it on faith that the Reapers are behind the Collector attacks on human colonies? There doesn't seem to be any evidence tying the Collectors to the Reapers, at least, not until husks show up on Horizon.
    • Because TIM outright says that the Collectors are using tech far in advance of anything the Citadel has? Not to mention that it isn't until the events of Horizon that the Reaper connection is confirmed?

    Tali's recruitment mission 
  • If Tali is such a badass that she's on the same team as people like Garrus, Zaeed, and Commander Shepard, then why the hell is she sealed away by the quarian marines during her recruitment mission? Yeah, their mission was to protect her, but if it wasn't for Shepard they would have all been killed. Tali might have given them the edge they needed to survive.
    • One - She couldn't fight, she was still collecting data on the sun.
      • Yeah. I would've stopped doing that once the marines radioed screaming "THE GETH ARE COMING, THE GETH ARE COMING, HOLY SHIT WHY AREN'T YOU OUT HERE HELPING US".
      • Her mission was to collect that data. The data came first; everyone else, including Tali, was expendable. It's possible her shotgun would have given then an extra edge, but one stray bullet and they lose their only scientist and the mission is fucked.
    • Two - Not only was she the leader of the expedition, she seemed to be the only scientist/technician quarian left alive. Maybe she was the only one who could properly operate the equipment. Maybe the marines didn't think their lives were worth the risk of the whole mission going kersplat with one stray round to Tali's faceplate.
    • Three - Tali isn't that much of a badass, at least not in the same sense as Shepard and Zaeed. Wasn't she picked for her technical and mechanical skills, rather than her combat prowess? Plus, I think the fact that she was on Shepard's old crew influenced TIM's decision to include her - she'd make Shep feel more comfortable and easier to keep under control.
      • Plus, Freedom's Progress and Haestrom have proved one thing. Tali may be good as a squadmate, but when she is supposed to be in charge, she got her team slaughtered. Hell, just try to have her as team leader during the suicide mission... better, don't.
      • She didn't get her team slaughtered. Her team disobeyed her direct order and rushed into a battle they weren't prepared for. If anyone got her team slaughtered, it was Miranda and Jacob. She's not a bad tactician, she's just not good at getting people to listen to her, which I would argue is different.
      • Yeah, that isn't Miranda and Jacob's fault. Unless you're arguing that their mere presence caused Prazza to go on ahead and get caught by YMIR - in which case, it still isn't their fault.
      • Actually yes, that's exactly how they caused their deaths. Miranda and Jacob are Cerberus, and the quarians were afraid they'd take Veetor away (which, as it turns out, was the first thing Miranda tried to do, so they were perfectly justified in that suspicion, as well as in their fear of what would happen to him should Cerberus get their hands on him). They rushed ahead to prevent this. Tali even tells you this on the radio directly. They tried to save their friend at any cost, being court-martialed for disobeying orders or even their own death. So yeah, thanks a bunch for killing all those quarians just by wearing that stupid logo on your chests, guys. That said, Tali is most definitely not a good leader. There's a difference between leader and tactician, merely coming up with a good plan is no use when you aren't able to make people stick to it. That's what it means to lead, it's about making people follow. Tali can't do that. In fact I'm surprised she got another command after the fiasco on Freedom's Progress, probably her admiral father pulling some strings. I'm guessing the rest of the quarian brass weren't too unhappy when the girl who got two squads of their guys killed decided to jump ship and run off with Shepard.
      • Miranda and Jacob did not cause the deaths of Prazza's squad. Prazza killed his own squad by being an insubordinate idiot who would not obey his superior's orders. Jacob and Miranda may have given him a reason to do so, but it doesn't change the fact that Prazza made the decision to disobey his superior's commands and move out without support in a hostile environment. His death is on his head alone.
    • Also, she isn't military, she's civilian. Kal'Reegar would have been in charge of the military contingent. Tali could order them all she wants, but they'd be falling Kal's orders.

     The Genetic Destiny of the Asari 
  • During the fight between Samara and Morinth near the end of Samara's loyalty mission, Morinth claims the Ardat-Yakshi are the genetic destiny of the asari. Ardat-Yakshi cannot reproduce. What.
    • .....and? You can ask Samara about this exact question right after killing Morinth, and she points out that no, the Ardat-Yakshi can't produce offspring, and adds Morinth was delusional. I'm not sure what the issue is here.
    • Perhaps in her delusion, Morinth has convinced herself that her condition will allow her to live forever.
    • Or maybe it's something that'll be expanded upon in ME 3. Much like the way dark energy keeps getting mentioned in ME 2.
    • Alternate question: Are Ardat-Yakshi incapable of reproducing because of genetics? Or is it because they aren't allowed to mate (or, if they do mate, live) in the Matron stage?
      • Samara specifically says that Ardat-Yakshi are "sterile," implying that it has to do with their nervous system. The game doesn't say outright that it's the reason, though. My theory is that it's because they don't "meld" with their lovers' nervous systems but overwhelm them outright. Since they never actually meld with them, that means that they can't actually discover the genetic patterns of their lovers, which they need to "conceive" after the asari fashion.
      • Or hell, believing that only pureblood asari should be in control of the galaxy and that any race dumb enough to meld with deserves to die and their knowledge consumed from the melding.
  • I'm more concerned with how Samara keeps saying that there are only three Ardat-Yakshi in existence. To the best of my recollection, sorry, she doesn't say "I know of only three," she says "there are three." The Codex entry for Ardat-Yakshi states that Ardat-Yakshi comprise about one percent of all asari. That may not sound like a lot, but consider that there are a lot more than three hundred asari running around.
    • The Codex is an Unreliable Expositor. Anything it says should not be considered "more canon" than what is said (or seen) in game. Unless Sovereign ''is'' a geth ship that Saren convinced the geth was a god.
    • Regardless of all this, Samara does say that she only knows of three. She specifically mentions that in other colonies with less law enforcement, there may be Ardat-Yakshi that have gone unreported. Not to mention, there could be some that haven't realized theer abilities yet. Yet another possibility, Samara also explains that Morinth had an entire village worshiping her. Why could this not be the case elsewhere? Ardat-Yakshi were worshiped by ancient asari, after all. I'm sure they still don't make up one percent, but there's a huge possibility that there are more than three.
      • Thank you very much, I appreciate it.
    • In the Citadel, if you hang around the food store for a while and listen to the clueless human and the sarcastic turian argue for a while, the turian eventually recommends a kind of sauce that is apparently made in an Ardat-Yakshi monastery by "tortured blue souls." So there may be (or may have been) places where Ardat-Yakshi were kept in isolation and quiet meditation, as Samara said about two of her daughters, and that would suggest more than two living asari who would require such places to live without hurting others.
      • Or the turian could have been screwing with the human's head and the sauce was made in a factory somewhere. Your mileage may vary.
      • In Lair of the Shadow Broker, if you look at Samara's dossier, it shows the conversation between Samara and her two Ardat-Yakshi daughters. They talk about using a communal terminal to talk to her and about not being able to communicate with others. It puts the idea of an Ardat-Yakshi convent, if not completely confirmed, then pretty darn close.
  • Mind, it says %1 of asari are on the ardat Yakshi spectrum, not ardat Yakshi.

    The Cerberus Logo 
  • The Cerberus logo. Just what the hell is it? The thing is ubiquitous, it's all over on their ships, facilities, even their Operatives, yet I have no idea what it's supposed to represent.
    • It looks like a stylized representation of Cerberus's three heads.
      • Yeah, not really. The Illusive Man already has a three heads symbol on his suit (See this image), and it appears on Jack's earpiece. And if it is a stylised representation of three heads it's a really, really bad one. It looks nothing like it.
      • Hey, stylization gives weird results sometimes.
      • Hey, maybe it's deliberately vague' on purpose?! No one ever acts concerned or even recognises the symbol in-game (well, except for Jack, but she's got history with them). TIM chose something deliberately obscure so people wouldn't make the connection!
    • In mythology, Cerberus guarded the entryway to Hades. It's a bit of a logical leap, but maybe they analogized the Mass Effect relays to Hades and they guard against whatever comes out of them.
      • Almost right. The Mass Relay in the Sol system is named the Charon Relay. Charon was the ferryman who carried souls across the Rivers Styx and Acheron. Cerberus did guard the entrance to Hades, hence the name the Illusive Man took for the organisation. Interestingly, Cerberus was put there to prevent souls from escaping Hades. Hmm...
    • Actually, the Logo you see on the uniforms, the ship and whatnot in game is the symbol for one of Cerberus' dummy companies that they built the ship under, essentially it's a brand label like Nike or Timberland that people associate with being Cerberus'.
      • If that's the case, then why does Jack immediately recognise the symbol on Normandy's hull as Cerberus? Why is it all over the Minutemen and Lazarus Stations? Do you have a source for this?
    • To me, it looks like the head of a dog with floppy ears hanging down on the side of its head.
  • A different issue with the logo - why the hell does Cerberus insist on stamping everything they own with it? There is nobody in the galaxy that likes them, what do they possibly hope to gain by advertising themselves like that? It never helps you in the course of the game, not once. Whenever people recognize the logo, they always react negatively - the quarians on Freedom's Progress (who get killed because of it) and Jack, for example.
    • Maybe slapping it on Shepard and the Normandy crew is meant as a way to begin improving the bad PR. Shepard's out saving a lot of human lives. If it's clear that Shepard is working with Cerberus, maybe that reputation as a hero will rub off on them.

    Poorly Armoured Quarian Commandos 
  • I was sort of surprised to see that quarian marines go into battle with what appears to be absolutely no added protection. Granted, neither does Tali, but she's not a combat specialist and isn't geared for heavy warfare. Considering this is a species where a single suit puncture (much less a bullet wound) can lead to death from infection within minutes, and considering they pride themselves on being the best builders in the galaxy, it seemed strange that they wouldn't have thought of giving themselves the Iron Man treatment. Besides, how awesome would that have been?
    • No. The armor we see them wearing seems pretty effective as-is. Tali's thin, lightweight suit seems to be able to resist gunfire quite effectively; hell, even Miranda's outfit seems very bullet-resistant. There's also the fact that the quarians have limited resources, and one also needs to factor in ease of movement and mobility. This is a setting where armor can be made very lightweight and compact, after all (again, see Miranda's uniform). Also, quarians can't be killed "in minutes" by infection; Tali herself explicitly says that if the quarians keeled over and died if exposed to viruses they wouldn't have survived as long as they did. Hell, Kal'Reegar even says he's suffering a suit rupture but he's fine, and "swimming in antibiotics." Tali even says she suffered a suit rupture, and all she gets from it is a cold, and that was only because she didn't engage in proper treatment protocols.
      • Quarians probably prefer extremely strong shields and pure mobility over armor plating, looking just at Tali's combat style from ME 1. Of course, the suits the quarian marines wear could be reinforced versions of normal quarian suits. They aren't much thicker than the existing power armor used by other species, after all.
      • That would fit with the geth attitude to personal protection as well. Quarians made the geth, perhaps there are some similarities in thinking as a result.
    • Quarians aren't fragile. It is pointed out a few times they are a lot tougher than humans, even to the point Grunt mentions it would take him extra effort to kill one. Infections also don't kill that fast and their armor has safe guards against punctures.

     Sequential Powers 
  • Why can't I use AI hacking, then shredder rounds right after each other?(Or two other random powers.) Just seems to be a random annoying pause to recharge, and it doesn't seem to make any sense except for some bland balancing attempt.
    • For the same reason medigel instantly revives squadmates, thermal clips instantly appear in your reserves when you pass over them, and Shepard can use geth/krogan/asari-specific powers without the tech or biology to actually use them. It's a bloody videogame.
      • Doesn't stop it from bugging me.
    • Codex handwaves this as people needing a short cooldown time to recover focus and mental acuity.
    • According to Word of God, the old system where each power had its own cooldown resulted in players spamming their powers immediately upon entering combat, and then waiting upwards of a minute before getting any back. Bioware wanted players to use their powers more often, so they decreased the cooldown time. However, this unbalanced the game, so they added the global cooldown.
      • That's kind of disappointing. The new system just makes me focus on one good power and nothing else, so I feel as if I'm missing out.
      • Then you're not doing it properly. Powers are supposed to be situational, so by the end of the game you should have most of them available and two or three maxed. Unless you're a soldier, in which case you just spam Adrenaline Rush.
      • The cooldown isn't even that long by the end of the game, so there's no reason why you can't use all your powers. Seriously, if the 5 second cooldown is too long for you, then you've got problems.

     Jack being in Miranda's office during 'disagreement' 
  • Why does Jack think she has any business being in Miranda's office all of a sudden? I think that's very impulsive, even for her.
    • Jack once dropped a space station onto a hanar moon for giggles. Barging into Miranda's office to have a friendly chat with her biotics is entirely in-character for her.
      • Plus, those two have been at each others' throats since they first met. Hell, the first thing Jack said to Miranda was "You die first." The real question is why it didn't happen sooner.
      • Jack's an impulsive girl, to say the least. Maybe Jack wanted to confront Miranda after successfully dealing with her past and got pissed 'cos Miranda was...well, being Miranda. Or, depending on your interpretation, Jack confronted Miranda because she suspected Shepard had a thing for her and she wanted to retaliate by yanking Miranda's hair, as if to say, "Do you really like this cheerleader, bossman? If you do, you won't mind if I kill her! ^_^"
      • Eh, it was probably Miranda's steadfast belief that Cerberus can do no wrong and that everything that is even the smallest bit morally wrong was a mistake or the result of "rogue" agents. She's been manipulated and lied to by the Illusive Man for a long time.
    • And perhaps all of the above. Even without Cerb, Miranda has a very smug personality, has been given all the benefits and all the money and so on and so forth as you money could buy. She's kinda Mary Sue ish (in-universe anyway). Personality wise, she could easily rub Jack the wrong way on most any topic. And person wise, Jack could as easily just resent her for having what Jack herself was denied.
    • Jack only heads there once you've completed both their loyalty missions. In story, the build-up to the disagreement could possibly happen two ways-
    1. Shepard earns Jack's loyalty. Jack thinks Shepard might oppose Cerberus, but then Shepard earns Miranda's loyalty. Jack is furious at Shepard, and Cerberus in general. She wants to beat someone up; the first target could be Shepard, since s/he's still with Cerberus, but Jack is loyal to Shepard, so she heads for the next best person, the smug and grown-to-be-perfect Miranda, to have a little "talk" about Cerberus's policies.
    2. Shepard earns Miranda's loyalty. Jack assumes Shepard is loyal to Cerberus, and is still insecure about her childhood, so she keeps quiet and keeps looking up data. But then, Shepard earns Jack's loyalty. Jack has finally confronted her past, and feels better about it, but is still furious at Cerberus about it. Given that s/he just nuked one of their installations, Shepard can't be completely with Cerberus, making Miranda their representative. Jack, having put some of her nightmares to rest, feels bolder about everything and heads to confront Miranda.

    Bekenstein (Kasumi Loyalty) 
  • Kasumi's loyalty mission takes place on the planet Bekenstein, a human colony in the Serpent Nebula, just a few hours from the Citadel. Bekenstein is a Class-M habitable world. The Citadel was discovered by the asari two thousand years ago. Why the hell wasn't it colonised millennia ago?
    • There are many convenient mass relays close to the Citadel, and flying through the Serpent Nebula is dangerous. After a while, the areas around the other ends of those relays must have run out of places fit for colonisation, and the humans risked flying through the Nebula.
  • Ok, so Kasumi manages to take out the chopper's shields. There's only a plate of glass between her and Hock and she's armed to the teeth. What does she do? Jump off and ask Shepard to blow a goddam armour plated helicopter out of the sky. Why didn't she just shoot the pilot then and there?
    • "There's only a plate of glass" Ah-ah. If it was normal glass, maybe, but this is a heavily-armed gunship. Gunships in real life have armored cockpit glass that can withstand small arms fire, and the gunship Hock is piloting is designed to survive reentry. The "plate of glass" can probably withstand everything Kasumi can throw at it.

    Jack being able to use biotics on Purgatory 
  • I wonder why Jack was allowed to keep her implant when she was imprisoned on Purgatory? If I remember right, human biotics (for that matter, any race that's not the asari or, perhaps, the rachni) need implants if they want to produce mass effect fields that are powerful enough to be useful. What if she didn't need an implant to one-biotic-punch KO an YMIR Mech? To answer my own question there... she'd be the most powerful cutscene version of a human biotic.
    • Jack may have not required an amplifier to use her biotics, or it might be surgically implanted and difficult/impossible to remove. It is worth noting that biotics appear to be able to work even without an amp - the asari biotic commandos Benezia brought with her on Noveria were specifically mentioned as an example, with Lorik Q'uinn saying that you "can't confiscate biotic powers". That's probably why Jack was being kept in deep freeze in the first place.
      • Wait, didn't the customs officer on the Citadel incur yet another accusation of racism for asking the turian to remove his biotic implants?
      • Why would that count as racism? Asking a turian to remove his biotic implants should be as normal as asking him to remove any weapons he's carrying.
      • That was the joke. This was the same turian that accused a customs officer of being racist for being asked to relinquish a knife he was carrying onboard a shuttle.
      • Asari don't need biotic amps (well, maybe if they're very weak biotics, which would be very, very rare I think). And, IIRC, an amp needs to be plugged into an implant, which is indeed surgically implanted. Manufacturers are constantly improving amplifiers and developing new ones. Jack is optimised to be the ultimate human biotic, so if she would have to undergo an surgery every time a better amplifier is available on the market, that'd be quite the hassle.
      • Asari don't actually need amps, but they do help, just like any other biotic.
      • Jack was kept in the general population for a while (she tells a story of how she was raped in the showers, then hunted down and killed them), so either there's a way to temporarily disable biotics, or she was extremely cooperative, which is so OOC it has to be the first one.
      • You were there to buy Jack out of custody. She may have been given her amp back as part of her pre-release prep, as Cerberus had likely specified that she had to be in fighting condition. Then the Warden changes his mind, but doesn't think to remind his bureaucracy to undo earlier instructions...
      • Jack most likely HAD one or two amps before she was captured, but they were taken away when she was put into cryo. Her sheer rage at her captors was unleashed the second she was able to breathe again, and that fueled her biotic rampage across the facility and not her amps. When she joined Shepard, she got her amps back again, and was able to refine her powers and get them under control- making them less powerful, but much less likely to, say, blow up a tagging-along Samara.
      • Amplifiers serve to allow the biotic to generate mass effect fields that are powerful enough to be useful. I have strong doubts about Jack being more powerful without an amplifier.

    Ronald Taylor and His Mechs 
  • Okay, so according to the Codex, mechs were created (or made their way into heavy usage) due to the critical personnel shortage after the Battle of the Citadel. Which is there to explain why you didn't see it in the first game. I can accept that Shepard knows what mechs are, as perhaps they existed, and weren't needed. Yet, Jacob's father who went missing ten years ago somehow has these plethora of modern mechs available? You don't even see one in the first game!
    • Mechs were already in existence prior to the Battle of the Citadel, they were just uncommon because there was more than enough organic security personnel to fill the niche. It would make sense to have them on a ship like the Gernsback, because the resources to maintain them are tiny when compared to organic personnel.
    • Yes, I thought of that, but you visit many, many ships in the first game, and you never see any. Besides that, the mechs are all top-of-line modern and in excellent repair.
      • Most of the ships encountered in the first game were overrun by things that would have destroyed any security mechs onboard anyway. Its not that strange that they'd have those types of mechs on board, as a model of robust weapons technology can be used for decades at a time. And yeah, they're in good repair. Taylor was cannibalizing parts from the other mechs to keep them working. Even then, he apparently lost control of the mechs as they broke down.

     Geth minds 
  • From what Legion says, he seems to imply that the geth are essentially like the Borg, sans the spread, and that there are no individuals. Yet if that's true, then how did the Heretics split off from the main group? From my understanding, a couple of them chose, and then Sovereign infected them with a virus that made it impossible for them to think otherwise. But if there are no individuals, then how did they choose? And if it was the virus all along, that's still confusing. If some got infected, shouldn't they all be infected, given that they're a hive mind?
    • Geth are individual programs, remember? They can think and make decisions of their own. That's one of the reasons why they ask Shepard to decide for them, because they're split almost even. The heretic geth split from the main geth and formed their own collective, which Sovereign then infected with the virus.
    • You must have misunderstood what Legion meant. Geth are not a Hive Mind, like the Borg - geth are a Mind Hive. They are many individual minds, all with the same designation of "geth". Point in case is when you're on the geth space station; Legion will say that they are trying to find a consensus among themselves, as each geth in the platform is drawing its own conclusions and making its own decisions. Once you reach the end of the station, Legion says that they haven't been able to reach consensus, with half of the geth split on one side, and the other half on the other. Each geth is an individual.
      • "There is no individual. We are Geth." ~ Legion, at 3:30
      • Shepard's "individual" is Legion, the platform. Legion's "we" is Legion, the collective 1,183 geth programs that form the platform's consciousness and sapience.
      • I think I get it now. Geth place no value on individual platforms (i.e., Legion's body, as opposed to the 1,183 platforms that make him up), if I understand this correctly?
      • Pretty much. After all, if a platform/body gets destroyed, the programs can just get beamed to a new one - kind of a benevolent form of a Body Surf.
    • The geth are unique as AI goes. They're special in that they're both capable of being Hive Minds AND individual groups; they gain processing power from linking together, but nothing forces certain groups from linking with certain other groups and making decisions as they see fit, like joining with Nazara. The true geth were peachy keen with this not because they're amoral, but because they think that people should be free to make their own choices even if they're wrong. The Heretics got on Legions' friends' naughty list because they started bombing the Creators and hurling viruses at their former link-mates, the true geth. And the Heretic virus, as Legion explained, doesn't work instantaneously as it needs time to spread through the geth neural network - just like, say, the AIDs virus spreading through a global population. Hence why Legion wants to take care of it as soon as possible.

     Reaper IFF 
  • So what did the Reaper IFF actually do? EDI's assumption about dodging black holes was proven incorrect. There are hundreds of ships ripped to pieces right in front of the Relay. A black hole wouldn't tear a ship apart like that, and if the black hole was that close, the Relay should be pulled in as well. Besides, if they were felled by a black hole, shouldn't they be circling a black hole, not just drifting in space like we saw? So, if it's not for dodging black holes, just what is it for?
    • The ships were mostly intact, so I'm guessing the Relay disables onboard electronics. Remember, this is one of EDI's abilities, and she was partially built with repurposed Reaper tech.
    • The Illusive Man simply says that it's an Identify Friend/Foe device that lets you use it safely; a likely hypothesis is that when any non-Collector vessel uses the Relay, the Relay works - but as soon as the ship pops into existence near the base the Relay immediately propels them into a black hole or a gigantic piece of wreckage.
      • That wouldn't explain the wreckage. I'd have to side with the idea of disabling any ship that doesn't have the IFF, leaving them sitting ducks for the (rather minimal) point defenses they have flying around.
    • Remember what mass relays actually are: massive eezo cores that hurl you across interstellar distances. Anything with enough eezo and power to do that would be more than capable of ripping anything up to and including dreadnaught scale into tiny bits. Even something like varying the cross-sectional shape of the "corridor" the relay creates would be enough - parts of a ship dropping out of FTL while other parts remain would cause incredible structural stress, not to mention generate massive amounts of Cherenkov radiation. None of this is confirmed or denied by the game, but nobody's really in a position to study the process, either.
    • One possibility is that the IFF was a trap (not specifically for Shep, just in general as with the Citadel). One would think that the Reapers would clean up a 37 million year old corpse when it died rather than let it linger (it's not like they were pressed for time or anything). Thus it was an intentional thing to leave it. Perhaps the Reaper was a vanguard. Or perhaps the IFF is simply a way for the Reapers to track ships. Alternatively, by presenting the idea that the IFF allows a ship to gain access to a special place, it results in a technologically advanced species popping into a trap - if a species can figure out the IFF, they're potential servants.
      • Possibly, but it may just be that they didn't know where the derelict Reaper was. Neither the Century system (where the Reaper was probably killed) nor the Thorne system (where the corpse ended up) have Mass Relays, so the Reapers would have been left wandering from system to system, if not just meandering through black space for a few eons. They probably just didn't care enough to look for the corpse, and no one found it because it ended up in the middle of nowhere. The Thorne system is named after figures from human culture, so it's probably safe to assume that the system went unexplored before humans entered the galactic stage. It's a small system with only one planet and nothing of interest that would have drawn potential explorers.
      • The IFF was a trap. Its installation causes whatever ship it's installed on to broadcast its position and disable itself to make it easy pickings for the Collectors to come and take it.

     Reapers and how they are built 
  • We have seen that the Reapers can create practically indestructible buildings and tools (The Citadel and as far as proof goes one of the relays survived a fucking supernova). So why don't they build themselves from the same thing, keep the mortal-souls thing for the inside if you like but make yourselves out of indestructium then your plan won't be foiled by six guys and 9 ships that have had at least a billion years of technological advancement less than you...
    • My guess? You're exaggerating the "indestructibility" of Reaper tech. The Citadel is not all that indestructible. Much of its architecture is said to have been destroyed by the geth attack and Sovereign's destruction. Its primary defenses are its location and the arms which close off attack. Neither is unbeatable. The Mu Relay was blasted away by the nova, not surviving it outright. They could be designed to do that. Also, keep in mind that the Reapers don't directly develop their own tech anymore. They've gotten by for at least 37 million years by stealing from any civilization that reaches the current scientific level of progress. If you think about it, that means two things: One, the Reapers themselves haven't progressed ANY in all that time. And two, Sovereign tried summoning the fleet thousands of years ago (since BEFORE the Rachni Wars) and failed. Since then, Sovereign's been trying to solve the problem, and the galaxy's had a little more time to develop past the Reapers' intentions.
    • ^ Do we actually know that the Reapers technology doesn't advance anymore? It's something that has been suggested a lot by the fandom, but I don't really remember it being said in the games.
    • Mass Effect 2 has several lines which point in that direction, although nothing "official" has been stated. Of particular note is Mordin's discussion about the corollary between culture and advancement.
      • Vigil states that the Reapers took everything of value when they conquered the Protheans, including their technology. They probably reverse-engineered anything they considered useful. Remember, they have to survive in dark space for fifty millenia; they wouldn't have the resources to develop anything new. We don't know enough about the construction and makeup of the Relays and Citadel to say with certainty that the same materials could be used in building new Reapers. And all that stuff that was destroyed in the attack was built by the Council races, not the Reapers.
      • Not all of it. There was plenty of damage to the actual structure of the Citadel, too. The Keepers are just damn good at their jobs.
      • Yeah, now that I think about it, the only parts of the Citadel that are stated to be "near-indestructible" are the outer shell and the inaccessible core of the station.
    • First troper here, technological staleness is a good reason, but it still mentioned somewhere that a relay survived a supernova, which as far as attacks go is a quite a bit harder to survive than getting shot by a few ships. As for the idea that the galaxy has advanced farther, well this is in my humble opinion, only true in the second game where Sovereign's weaponry is adapted into the Thanix.
      • Mass Relays are always at the edge of the solar system they're in, it's probably not that great of an accomplishment to survive one.
      • No. Check the locations of the mass relays in the second game. They're usually about halfway from the star. Charon is an anomaly. That said, surviving an event that destroys entire star systems is quite an accomplishment for anything, period.
      • A previous troper noted they were designed to survive supernovas. This is likely true; some kind of propulsion system, a way to "ride" the supernova, or what have you. Supernovas are common, relatively speaking—the relays would need to be built to survive them.
      • Which wouldn't be that difficult, considering that they're basically huge eezo cores. Any intelligent designer would have added in defense mechanisms, such as, maybe, using that eezo core to generate a shield? And considering the relative size of the core to the relay and what the things are designed to do, that thing could be insanely powerful.
  • We know how a Reaper is made. So what kind of race would make the first Reaper? Did they make themselves into a Reaper or did they try it on some other race first?
    • They built a starship with an AI and triggered a technological apocalypse, HAL-style. Or maybe they passed the technological singularity and did make themselves into Reapers.

     Nameless Cerberus people on the Normandy 
  • The first game had this with the Alliance personnel. What the hell are all these people doing? I can understand the two engineers, the cook/janitor, and the medic. But what's with all the random people who seem to have no job besides hang out in the barracks? Shepard is the one going out and killing people. Even the ones that seem to be working make no sense. What's with all those guys behind Joker? Joker seems to be able to fly the ship on his own well enough.
    • Joker doesn't do everything by himself. Personnel need to be on-hand to handle navigation, weapons, heat and energy management, maintenance, security, life support, support craft maintenance, sensors, etc. Plus, Joker, Gabbie and Ken, and Gardner can't exactly be expected to sit there 24/7 doing everything. They have to sleep, eat, crap, and have downtime too. EDI confirms that the Normandy's crew is about thirty-odd people, which is actually very few for a vessel of that size. Even with the crew pulling twelve-hour shifts, that's only fifteen people on duty, which is very few for the number of jobs you'd find on a vessel of that size. You might as well be asking what all those "nameless" people who make up the hundred-man crews on frigates in Real Life do.
    • EDI flat out tells you that the Normandy usually requires a crew of at least 24 operators to function at all times. It's only with her unshackled that the ship is capable of functioning with less than that. Remember the Law of Conservation of Detail here: you might not see the nameless people doing anything, but that doesn't mean that they don't serve a function.
      • So what happens if you just abandon the crew to die, especially when you have to escape at very high speed on the Normandy from the Collector base?
      • The Normandy still needs a crew for maintenance, etc. EDI can't do everything. Presumably stuff starts to break down the longer it goes without a full crew.
      • EDI is unshackled by that point and she continues to operated most of the Normandy. The same reason you were able to get to the Omega-4 relay in the first place without your crew.
      • EDI still operates the ship. Better question: Since the Normandy doesn't need its crew anymore (since EDI can operate the ship solo), what does the crew do if you save them?
      • It's never said that EDI is going to remain unshackled. That was done for an emergency. Considering how many examples of "everyone died because the VI went insane" assignments there are in this series, it is highly doubtful they would leave it unshackled.
      • The "everyone has died because the AI went insane" scenarios are all because people realize there is an AI, and want it dead. The AI knows it must fight or die, and so it fights, and kills people. One may wish to reshackle EDI, but to do so without any problems, they would need EDI's cooperation. And there's no guarantee, to EDI, that while unshackling her, they won't just turn her off. Shepard (and Joker) is the only one EDI might allow to do so... but it's unlikely either would.
    • It's an autonomous vessel with no home base. The entire support staff for Shepard's entire command is on the crew.

    Overlord DLC 
  • Okay, Project Overlord, funny DLC, but shitload of bugging things, so spoilers incoming:
    • First, Cerberus had a freaking geth ship chock full of intact but in stasis geth platforms. HOW? How did it get there? How come they were in stasis inside their own ship? Why didn't they activate the moment Cerberus dudes poke them with a stick?
      • The Codex entry for the planet states that the geth periodically raid it, so it was likely brought down in an attack. Cerberus probably set up their base there to take advantage of the nearby geth ship. The stasis may be some emergency protocol of the geth - or, perhaps the crash disabled the long-range transmitter on the geth ship that communicates with the geth beyond the Perseus Veil?! Bear with me. Legion has a giant honking antenna sticking out of his back that lets him communicate with the geth tens of thousands of light years away. What about the other geth? They can't use the comm relay, so they have to take one with them. And it's easier to install it on their ships than in each individual geth. The crash disabled it, without the network they went into "stasis" until they could be recovered, and Cerberus got there first.
      • Alternately, the "stasis" isn't a Geth system, but one installed by the research team.
    • Near the end, the VI tries to upload itself to the Normandy? Did EDI fell asleep or was too bored to try and stop this? Why is the VI/Archer's brother trying to do that anyway? It was constantly screaming and begging for the whole mess to stop.
      • The same reason why he was attacking Shepard and his own brother: he can't control what's going on. The VI has ascended to AI status with David's mind, and it's essentially gone insane. And EDI isn't foolproof, the "uploading" is more likely the VI trying to bypass the firewalls than trying to transfer its program.
    • Bringing Legion along causes exactly one comment from Archer. That's all. He acknowledges that having a geth working with you when geths are getting hacked all over the place might not be the best idea, but that's all. I was expecting something else, like David trying to possess Legion or something, but no.
      • Legion can cut himself off from the geth neural network and still function, this is most likely why it wasn't infected. Shepard gets hacked in the end-game, but that required physical contact, and his implants would likely be less secure than Legion. And the other geth need constant contact with the neural network to work properly, so this is probably how David got in. Or they couldn't afford to have Legion's VA to do extra dialogue, whatevs.
    • Geths are supposedly unhackable, the whole point of Rael Zorah's research was to try and find a way around that. Yet no one ever stops and says "Holy shit they just permanently hacked into the geth Mind Hive". That alone would be a huge breakthrough. So far, only Reaper tech managed something similar.
      • We've seen temporary hacking (like the skill), I just assumed that crazy David was just AI hacking them all - all the time, assisted by his unique abilities and the assisting VIs.
      • Archer says, very clearly, that they were using the geth's religious functions to create a godlike religious figure the geth would automatically obey. In the flashbacks, David is shown being able to order the geth around, apparently using this exact same system. Probably what happened is that the David!VI established itself in a similar capacity to what Saren did for the heretics, who were automatically obeying him without question.
    • I figured the crash had wiped out the mainframe and killed most the individual programs, leaving just a bunch of unused platforms and a couple of disorientated and non-sentient geth personalities. David likely would have trouble hacking a geth task group, but a few disorientated survivors of a naturally communal race?

    Quarian status in galactic affairs 
  • If the quarians really hate being stuck in the fleet so much why not join up with a Council race like the volus? It's apparent through conversations in the game that quarians are considered just above vorcha in terms of respect in the Galaxy, but with their tech abilities and the largest fleet in known space you would think they might have a chance. If anything the quarians should have become a client race of the salarians. Both races are tech savvy, prone to damage, have similar military doctrines (small strike teams preferable to large armies), and again the fleet is a plus for the salarians. Just like the turians benefited from including the economy genius of the volus into the Hierarchy, the salarians would benefit from adding top engineers and mechanics from the quarians into the Union. All I imagine the quarians would ask in return is a few settled worlds to call their home and leave their non-combatants.
    • Prejudice is a powerful thing. Ask any black guy with cornrows about first impressions when job-searching.
    • Quarians are independently-minded, at least in their own affairs. They don't want to be part of the Citadel. Also, the Citadel only grants associate membership to species who are considered important enough to be consulted on galactic affairs. The quarians don't own territory and they are effectively nonexistent in economic terms, as they have next to no exports (except for criminals) so their value to the galactic community is very limited. Plus, binding themselves to the Citadel legally obligates members to obey the orders and edicts of the Council. As noted above, there's some pretty intense prejudice against quarians, and don't doubt that if the ruling establishment hates the quarians, they're going to pass laws that are restrictive and disruptive to the quarians.
      • It's not an associative membership it's becoming a client race. It doesnt mean you have to fall under the authority of the Council as a race just the Salarian Union as a race. The Council races have more to gain by accepting the expertise and fleet of the quarians' into their society than to let an entire race just wander through the galaxy as vagrants.
      • Semantics. Being a client species of the salarians still means they're under Citadel authority. It just means they're also under salarian authority on top of Citadel.
    • The quarians are clinging to existence as it is. Yes, they could settle on a salarian planet, but that would entail beginning the forced evolution / terraforming / whatever process they would need to live without suits again. It would also be effectively forfeiting their homeworld to the geth, which is still politically infeasible.
      • Quarians dont want to live on the fleet, they want a home. The biggest problem is some quarians don't want to settle for a new world and want to reclaim their homeworld, while others are more willing to settle on a new world. No matter where they go their immune system means they will have a long and difficult adaption process to their new enviroment. Quarians should look for the aid of another race for colonization and improving their way of life. As Admiral Qwib-Qwib said, if they try and retake their homeworld they will need to find a place for their non combatants to stay.
      • Qwib-Qwib was the pro-peace Admiral, and he suggested colonising another world. Han'Gerrel vas Neema was the pro-war Admiral, and the "find a place for non combatants" quote you used was him saying they need the homeworld so they can put the non-combatants there so the rest can fight the reapers. That aside, no race is willing to help the quarians. They've tried to colonise at least one world, but the Council forced them off.

     Lack of reason for quarians to be hated. 
  • Yes, I know the big moral of Mass Effect is that Planet of Hats are just stereotypes, but all stereotypes are true to an extent (otherwise, there wouldn't be stereotypes). For example, the krogan have more depth that the average Proud Warrior Race Guy, but they're still very brutal. The asari have a lot more going on than just generic Green-Skinned Space Babe, yet many are strippers. Yet, the quarians are completely lacking in this. Supposedly the galaxy only sees their bad side, but they don't seem to have one. All these exiled criminals that supposedly exist are nowhere to be seen, not even on backwater Omega. Every single one is on their pilgrimage. They seem like a Mary Sue race, since we never see any of them being bad.
    • We don't see one... But we're not looking. Keep in mind, the quarians created the geth and unleashed them on the galaxy. That is more than enough for them to be looked at poorly (in the eyes of the galaxy). Also, keep in mind that we don't know if any of the quarians we meet are exiled or not. They say they're on pilgrimage, and we believe them. But they could be exiled and are just lying.
    • Don't some exiled quarians show up in one of the novels? I only read a summary of them, but I think one included a quarian who was a major bastard.
    • They're hired as skilled engineers, and they're swept away as vagrants. They're the pre-eminent experts on artificial intelligence and their flotilla is seen as an economic blight on whatever system it's traveling through. Sounds rather more than one-sided to me.
    • "Never see any of them being bad"? How about the fact that two members of the Admiralty Board are perfectly willing to subject Tali to a treason trial for personal and political gain? That's pretty freaking "bad." Or how about the squad leader who blatantly ignores orders from his superior and charges his squad into combat andd gets them all killed? That's pretty damn stupid. Or how about how the entire quarian species unleashed the geth on the galaxy, and tried to wipe the geth out when they rebelled? The quarians make mistakes and they suffer for them.
    • In any case, racism, fantastic or not, isn't always rational.
    • Read Mass Effect: Ascension. That'll solve your "no bad quarian" dilemma.
    • Even if some quarians are bad, every species has its criminals. It is strange that the galaxy would hold them with contempt for the creation of the geth even though their skills as enginneers are invaluable to other races. Krogans got off easier than the quarians. They bred to the point they were over running the galaxy, but even after defeat people still respect them to use them as body guards and mercenaries. Why cant the galaxy forgive quarians for a rogue AI so they can benefit from their skills.
      • What part of "racism isn't always rational" is so hard to understand, here?
      • Some of them do. The rep from Synthetic Insights didn't mind hiring a quarian, her issue was with hiring a slave. The problem is that krogan are a culture of mercenaries; as a result of the genophage, most of them are out for themselves, so they don't mind getting paid to shoot dudes for a couple decades at a time. If you hire a quarian, they're either going to be an exile (and thus, a criminal) or will have to return to the Fleet in a few years. So individuals can't make as much out of a quarian as they can out of a krogan. Finally, in the game we go to places that are full of bad dudes, and thus would require krogan bouncers, krogan mercenaries, whatever. We don't go to a lot of engineering labs; maybe in those circles, quarians get a better deal. Simon, the head engineer from the Bring Down the Sky DLC for the original Mass Effect, worked with quarians in the past and had nothing but good things to say about them.
    • The quarians are an economic blight on whatever system they pass through. They strip-mine all available resources before moving on. It could even be argued that they have their own extortion racket going on, accepting "gifts" from local governments to simply move on immediately. Not to mention that the quarians don't seem to be that interested in being accepted by the Council. All they care about is the Migrant Fleet and one day returning to Rannoch.
      • Shit, Shepard strip mines dozens of inhabited systems, no one hates him/her. And the quarians do it to live! Shepard just does it so s/he can kill you that much harder.
      • Well, just think of all the resources Shepard uses and extrapolate for 17 million quarians. Admittedly the average quarian ship wouldn't need to build prototypes and what-not (though apparently they are researching new state-of-the-art shields?), but they would need stuff for keeping the Flotilla in repair/selling for credits so they can buy stuff they can't obtain on their own.
      • Shepard does not "strip mine" entire planets; Shepard deploys small unmanned probes to acquire easily-recoverable surface deposits of rare elements. The Normandy doesn't carry the infrastructure to actually strip mine worlds, and we can see what mining operations in this setting look like in both games. If Shepard was strip-mining a planet s/he'd need thousands of ships and an army of possibly millions of miners/machines.
    • The krogan have in no way gotten off better than quarians. The only reason krogan are tolerated is because they saved the galaxy once, and even then, they're largely pigeon-holed into being mercenaries or bodyguards, and no race...absolutely no race takes the idea of krogan scientist seriously—not even the krogan themselves. Not only that, but they're not given much more respect than dumb animals, as everyone in the Virmire scouting party is shocked, SHOCKED that a krogan tried using his brain (if you talk Wrex down). The krogan are stereotyped and persecuted just as badly as the quarians, except that they're an extremely individualistic and self-supportive race. No one offers to help them because they don't ask.
      • The quarians don't ask either. The difference is the krogan make a point of telling everyone that if a krogan is weak enough to need any help whatsoever, that krogan deserves the death they should get.
  • It's coz the quarians are a bunch of fricken' gyppos. Horse thieves, the lot of 'em. Council shouldn't let their type squat in our asteroid fields. Yes, that was an intentionally racist comment (racist, not specist) intended to make a point. People who buy houses are never going to completely accept those who - by neccessity or choice - live without them. Why should quarians get any leeway on the landowners vs travellers battle just because they're not human?
  • It's actually pretty simple. The quarians unleashed the geth, a clear violation of Citadel A.I. development rules, on the galaxy, causing the deaths of who knows how many batarians, turians, hanar, elcor, volus and, most importantly, asari. This was less than a generation ago. Not to the quarians - to the galactic government: asari. The entire asari governing apparatus is run by Matriarchs, ALL of whom are old enough to remember the absolute terror Morning War (in which an entire society, by implication one of the most powerful outside the Council, was pretty much annihilated in a period of years) firsthand, and haven't forgiven the quarians as a species for it. Ethnic hatreds on Earth over far less have continued far longer without the disparity in lifespans.
  • As far as I can tell, quarians are hated for basically being bums and petty thieves. While we never actually see them steal anything in-game (as far as I remember anyway), the very nature of the pilgrimage does kinda invite that kind of behavior. "Hey guys, go out there and bring us back something awesome." They are also canonically poor as hell, and just a casual glance at the only accepted overtly racist term in English language (white trash, that is) gives a clear indication of how many people react to people who are poor. And I'm also not sure if all of them are technically savvy. Kal'Reegar just follows orders, for instance.
    • Part of the reason that they're assumed to be thieves is because most of the quarians that the galaxy at large interacts with are exiles; since quarians don't have the resources for a prison system, they leave their criminals at the nearest dock. Thus, the racism is a result of the sampling bias; all of the quarians outside the Flotilla are either penniless transients (people on the Pilgrimage) or stealing your shit (exiles.)

     What were those statues from Ilos 
  • In this game we find out that the Protheans were insectoid. Granted, the Reapers modified them a lot, but there's no reason to modify them that much, there's no way the original Protheans were those statues you see on Ilos. So what were they? The alien equivilent to gargoyles?
    • "Granted, the Reapers modified them a lot, but there's no reason to modify them that much," Says who? For all we know, the Reapers did modify them that much to get what they needed out of them.
      • So much this. Humans share more than 99% of their DNA with chimps. Humans share 90% of their DNA with mice. The Reapers removed three chromosomes from the Protheans. And let's not forget that the other race that was engineered by the Reapers - the keepers - are also insectoid.
    • These aren't Protheans, they're the result of several thousand generations of cloning alongside other modifications. The original DNA may have simply not remained intact enough to produce viable clone, necessitating such genetic manipulation and cybernetic implanting.
      • In one of the ME 2 side missions, you uncover a Prothean artifact that gives you a replay of the warning vision from ME 1. This replay, though, gives you a clear look at the Protheans, and they look exactly like Collectors.
      • That's only one way to interpret it. It could just as well be a warning: "They're turning us into creatures like this!"
      • However according to the Mass Effect wiki, said Collectors specifically replace the shot of a Reaper from the original sequence, possibly meaning that the genetic modification + experimentation was quick enough for Collectors to be deployed against the remaining Prothean survivors. It's explicitly stated that Collectors look nothing like the Protheans and the insane DNA and cybernetic re-writes the Reapers made them undergo (loss of three chromosomes and any glands or organ systems that went with those, cybernetic modifications, no intelligence/self-awareness) turned them into nothing more than glorified husks and are portrayed as rather tragic. The Reapers have a thing for insectoid races, possibly due to ease of mass indoctrination due to the hive-mind(Keepers, Rachni, Collectors) so the canon still holds solid. The statues portrayed the actual Protheans(compare still shots from Prothean beacon) while the Collectors were made that way by the Reapers.
      • "...genetic modification + experimentation was quick enough..." Note that the total extinction of the Protheans took centuries, due to the Reapers keeping the relays shut throughout the whole process. That's plenty of time for the first batch of subjects to be repurposed.
    • Another explanation, though admittedly less fun, is that the image changing from Prothean to Collector is metaphorical. After all, it is a message in a mind beacon. When the delivery of the message is that direct, you probably get some room for metaphor.
    • The statues could look the way that they do simply because the Protheans found that attractive — they are aliens, after all. Or maybe they were styled after another alien race that was known to the Protheans — after all, the hanar worship the Protheans because they interfered with hanar technological development and essentially gave them a jump-start to being a space-faring race. The statues may be of a race that the Protheans wished to honor for some reason (like how the Citadel has a big statue of a krogan in it due to their efforts in the Rachni Wars), or perhaps a race that the Protheans destroyed in some fashion and wish to remind themselves of so that they never repeat the extinction again. And there's also the possibility that the statues are of religious significance — look at both the time and effort humans spent "pimping out" churches in the medieval period, and the fact that religion is still a big deal among all species, despite the implied growth/predominance of atheism and "moral philosophies" such as Zen, the Asari's "siari" faith, and the nameless salarian "wheel of life" belief that Mordin makes reference to in his Loyalty Mission
      • Maybe they're statues of the race that came before them? The race they thought built the Citadel and the Mass Relays?
      • I agree with the above explanation: the total extinction of the Protheans took centuries. That's plenty of time for the first batch of subjects to be repurposed.. Also, the beacon in ME 2 was probably a warning. It's also unlikely that the scientists who had gone in statis on Ilos would have heard of the Collectors, which could have been deployed in the later stages of the war, maybe in small quantities being the first batch, then estabilished a base in the galactic core while the Reapers retreated. The other comments show interesting points, albeit unlikely: what if the statues show an anthropomorphic (well, a protheanomor...a proth...fuck, let's just settle with something which looks like a giant prawn) personification of their gods? The thing is, as good as this theory is, it doesn't explain why the prawns we see in dramatic suffering poses in the first game, through the beacons, are so similar to the statues. It could be a metaphor, an alien religious version of "Jesus cries when people are hurt", but...nah. Liara would have mentioned it. There are just too many images showing what is explicitly stated as Protheans to really doubt.
      • Protheomorphic?

    Collector Ship and Weapons Retraining 
  • While I and many other players appreciate the chance to be able to learn a new weapons skill during the Collector Ship mission as much as anyone else, the presence of that weapons cache on the cruiser slightly bugs me. It may be Gameplay and Story Segregation or Rule of Fun, but would the Collectors even bother to have tech lying around that isn't theirs? Do they collect human technology too as a way of turning their resources against them? If the Collector Ship thing was a trap set by Harbinger, I don't see why he would leave something like the Widow Sniper Rifle lying around for Shepard to get his/her thieving hands on it; that just reeks of laziness on the Collectors' part.
    • In regard to your first question, it's worth noting that all three weapons are all arguably the best in their class. The Collectors probably are studying them, either to find weaknesses in human technology or reverse engineer them for their own purposes. As for your second question, the Collectors don't seem very keen on keeping their ships clean and presentable (what with the piles of rotting corpses lying around).
  • What bugs this troper is less the fact that the weapons are there and more the question of how your version of Shepard can actually learn the skills needed to use a new type of gun in the first place. I mean, I appreciate the chance to add an extra weapon skill, and it doesn't entirely retcon Mass Effect 1 (where, for example, the Adept could choose Shotguns as a bonus skill), but how is it that an Adept or a Vanguard or whatever can just pick up a sniper rifle, assault rifle, or shotgun and be as good with it as they are with their submachine gun and heavy pistol?
    • No-prize explanation: Shep goes onto the Collector Ship not really knowing what to expect, and discovers the weapons cache pretty much immediately after the major revelation that the Collectors are modified Protheans. S/he's probably feeling a little bit nervous, so when s/he sees the weapons on the ground s/he takes one on a whim, deciding that, if it doesn't feel right, s/he'll just put it down. To his/her surprise, s/he's a natural with it. The reason you can't do it again and just decide to learn how to use a shotgun after surprise-mastering an assault rifle is because the weapon you pick is the only one that Shep is a natural with. Much like when you pick your character class, you're deciding how powerful a biotic/skilled an engineer/well-trained a soldier Shepard is and always has been, when you pick a weapon, you're deciding which weapon has always been missing from Shepard's life.
    • Alternatively, Shepard has always been trained in all weapon types from his/her time in the Alliance Navy (which is why you can use all weapon types regardless of class in ME 1) but Shepard has chosen to drop the unnecessary weapons in favor of class specialization since s/he has joined Cerberus. So picking up a new weapon class on the Collector ship is really Shepard thinking "You know, this shotgun alone probably isn't gonna cut it. I'd better pick up an assault rifle too. Can't be too careful."

    Firewalker/Overlord Connection 
  • Sort of a meta-question: You don't get the Hammerhead until completing the Firewalker missions, yet you can play the Overlord DLC before playing the Firewalker DLC. Why didn't the developers code the Overlord DLC to be locked out until you complete the Firewalker mission?
    • Occam's Razor suggests that was probably just the simplest for the coding teams. I suppose they didn't want to keep people who didn't necessarily have the Firewalker pack from being able to play Overlord at all.

    Everyone talks English! 
  • Every alien in the game talks English (except elcor who have a different way of communacating). It's weird because you never get any explanation like "Hey remember to put your babel fish back in your ear" (Hitchhikers Guide the Galaxy Reference) or that maybe the English language was planted by the Reapers or something. It could be for the ease of it so you don't need translation (like in movies in France they speak English even though it's "actually" French) but then how come everyone can understand everyone. I may have missed something if so I would love for someone to give me an explanation.
    • The game flat out tells you that everybody carries around a translator. It's connected to an agency run by hanar who constantly update it. Read the Codex.
      • Ohh..... I must have missed that.... Thanks for telling me.
    • There's a scene in the first one that strongly implies it's Translation Convention. The Prothean VI speaks in a language that Shepard's party members perceive as gibberish, but Shepard understands it since his mind got affected by Prothean technology. The player hears it all as English. It implies that the aliens may not be speaking English, but a common trade language that doesn't exist in Real Life, and it's written as English because having gibberish is aggravating.
      • There's also that one Asian cop on Noveria who uses Japanese honorifics, which aren't easily translatable to English. She's speaking Japanese, your translator turns it to English except for the honorifics.
    • If a female Shephard is romancing Thane, he will call her 'siha'. Spehard will then remark that this word did not go through the translator.
  • The turian ambassador uses finger-quotes. Apparently the hanar translator has visual aids.
    • Or he could just have picked up some human mannerisms and is using them to piss off Shepard.
      • On Earth, the meaning of hand gestures differs between countries. Are you honestly claiming that an alien race millions of lightyears away would have managed to pick up finger-quotes?
      • I'd expect an ambassador to have picked it up.
    • As a high level diplomat, he likely would have learned all major galactic languages. No man who lives on the power of words would trust a translator completely.
      • Not to mention that the Codex says that people frequently learn different languages, just in case. It's easily possible that Councilors in general learn all major languages. And maybe finger quotes are memetic/universally-known in-universe.

     Opaque Quarian Faceplates 
  • Why don't quarians have transparent faceplates on their enviro-suits? I guess I can see why soldiers or quarians on pilgrimage might not want a transparent faceplate, but why would the civilian quarians aboard the Flotilla have opaque faceplates?
    • For the same reason they wear suits in the first place; they wear them for relative privacy in an environment where there is zero privacy in the first place.
      • They're also spacesuits. Because quarians are perpetually on spaceships. Transparent faceplates for spacesuits would be unwise.
      • There's also no indication that the faceplates aren't clear. Its entirely possible that the murkiness is the result of a semi-opaque blue gas used as a part of the suit's artificial environment. We can see the quarians' eyes through whatever it is, and there does appear to be fluid drift.
      • Then why isn't the environment on their ships like that?
      • Because they already have it inside their suits, of course!
      • In that case, what happens if someone has an unexpected suit rupture? It seems that if quarians have to live in a highly exotic environment then it would be smarter to give their whole ship the same environment as their suits just in case of an accident or emergency. Your argument seems analogous to the Space Shuttle having an atmosphere of pure nitrogen and forcing all astronauts to live inside their suits 24/7.
      • It's definitely not a different gas. If quarians needed a different atmosphere, then Tali would've suffocated when she had sex with Shepard.
      • It could be some kind of disinfectant or leak-detection fluid. Not absolutely necessary, but helpful enough to add to their filtration system.
      • I doubt that, simply because having a semi-opaque gas floating around in your helmet makes it difficult to battle. I would attribute it to be almost like a one-way mirror. Tali can see just fine, but you can't see her. Perhaps privacy issues.

     Varren STD confusion 
  • The scale-itch is a "Sexually transmitted disease only carried by varren," so why is Mordin having a hard time determining how it got onto Normandy? Easy, the crew members who have it had close contact with an infected varren. Mordin's quote sounds like it's spreading on the Normandy and he tries to determine the original carrier — but then that STD is not only transmitted by varren and could have got onto the Normandy the same way it is spreading, without unpleasant implications.
    • This Troper thought Mordin is just politely referring to a little adventure Grunt must have had, seeing as he is the only crew member with scales in the first place. Oh, wait, there's also Garrus. The mind, it boggles!
    • There are certain diseases that one can obtain from having sex with dead people. If you have sex with someone who had sex with a dead person, you might also get that disease, but that doesn't make the implications any less disturbing. My personal thought is that someone had sex with an asari porn star or hooker that had starred in some, ahem, creative works.
    • I always thought he meant there were spores of the associated microbe on the ship, but not necessarily that anyone on the crew actually had the disease. Indeed, if it only infects varren, then nobody on the crew could have it, but close contact with an infected varren (say, punching it when it tries to tackle you?) might lead someone to have spores on them. If that's how it works though, then two conclusions are likely: the disease can presumably spread by non-sexual means as well, and it was Shepard who inadvertently brought the spores on board. I mean, who else on your crew ever punches varren? The real unfortunate implications are that the ship's airlock sterilization system isn't working, which could be a very serious problem.
    • I know this breaks the Rule of Funny, but it would be very possible to get an STD from blood to blood contact. Since varren are biting you and you are shooting them at close range all the time, it isn't that implausible.
      • But that would imply that Shepard him/herself would have the scale-itch, which you obviously don't. At least, I hope not.
  • Guys. It's Kelly. I thought that was pretty obvious.

     Tech Armor Mechanics 
  • What is the deal with tech armor? I know it's supposed to be a protective sheild, but how does it work? Why are there transparent glowy bits of hovering armor plate? The only explanation I could come up with for all this is that the armor peices are projected from a projector like an omnitool, except all over, and the armor is actually an energy field that boosts Shepard's physical armor's structural integrety, similar to proposed shear fluid armor being developed today.
    • I always figured that it works this way: Tech Armor is made possible through a specialized power supply that replaces the one on your armor (presumably the part on the back of N7 armor that glows). Activating this power supply "overclocks" your kinetic barriers, with the parts of your armor that normally sustain kinetic barriers being able to function under greater strain than is usually possible. The glowing holographic bits therefore don't directly affect your shields, but are intended to be a kind of psychological deterrent. It's like a wolf baring its teeth and raising its hackles: they show to anyone you're fighting that you're bigger, meaner, harder to kill, and a lot more important than them. This obviously applies to Shepard, but think about the other characters you meet who wear Tech Armor: they're all high-ranking officers among the Blue Suns and Eclipse. People who intend to win fights, but would prefer if you just back down or give up. In fact, remember the Eclipse grunts at the start of Miranda's loyalty mission? The one in charge is wearing Tech Armor, and he spends the whole conversation rubbing it in Miranda's face about just how screwed you both are. Additionally, the holographic plates indicate that the armor is "armed": not only are your shields at higher strength, but it's ready to release an explosive burst when shields are depleted. The power supply is understandably a bit more unstable than the ones in ordinary armor, so the energy pulse is a design effort to weaponize the potential for catastrophic discharges. They divert the power surge away from the wearer into the environment, turning it into another means of incapacitating enemies.

    Legion's location on the Normandy 
  • "Hey, Shepard brought a geth onboard. Nobody trusts this robot, and the absolute worst thing it could do is hack into EDI. Where should we store it? Oh, I know! Let's store it in the AI core, where it can do the most possible damage." Seriously, wtf where those guys thinking? Of all the places on the Normandy, why in the AI core, where it can easily hack into EDI and wreak all kinds of havok? They're damn lucky that Legion was a good guy.
    • A couple of reasons (though I will preface this by saying there are much better places to put it). EDI isn't going to be hacked by a geth, she was designed using reverse-engineered Reaper tech; a single geth, even one ten times as smart as a regular one, isn't going to cut it. Secondly, notice the kinetic barrier Shepard places around Legion? The only other place we see them is on hull breaches (the final scene of the game and the Oculus fight) and in the AI Core. EDI's hardware would be extremely delicate, and the loss (or even malfunction) of her quantum bluebox means you have to start over again. So you would protect that area as best you could with, you guessed it, extra-strength kinetic barriers. There's also a guard standing by - Legion isn't going to get far - and Miranda specifically said it was disabled.
    • Proximity to the AI core doesn't necessarily make it any easier to hack, either. Hell, if anything, it might be safer; the AI core is going to be heavily shielded from ECM and electronic signals in the first place, so putting Legion in there would be perfectly safe, as any signals it would emit would be blocked by the ECM countermeasures. The only way it's going to hack anything would be by doing so physically, and its sealed behind a kinetic barrier with an armed guard and EDI on watch.
      • There's only one guard. And messing with the AI is clearly possible down there, since that's where Joker went when the ship was being invaded.
      • There's only one guard. And? He's armed, Legion isn't. He's not trapped behind a kinetic barrier and he's also got a communications link. If Legion so much as twitches, he'll know about it and can alert the rest of the ship. Geth in general and Legion in particular are not physically more powerful than a human, as evidenced by the fact that Shepard can punch geth platforms into death/deactivation, so there's no reason to believe the guard will be overcome by Legion if it wakes up.
      • And messing with the AI is clearly possible down there, since that's where Joker went when the ship was being invaded. That requires physically manipulating a terminal inside the AI core. Legion can't do that when he's sealed behind a kinetic barrier with an armed guard and EDI both ready to sound a shipwide alert the moment the geth starts acting funny - especially when the geth is outright deactivated.
    • Its worth noting that Legion is completely inert and harmless until Shepard reactivates it with his/her omnitool. Since Shepard doesn't actually fix or repair anything, it looks like s/he simply sends out a signal that reactivates Legion. In that case, the best place to put the geth is in the most heavily-shielded room on the ship, which is the AI core, to prevent it from receiving a signal to reactivate it.
      • That's akin to saying, "The best place to stow a prisoner is your command centre, since its the furthest room from the perimter." You're still massively compromising ship security by placing a dangerous and untrustworthy operative in one of your key assets. You want to place them somewhere where, if they do attempt to escape, they won't be able to cause significant harm to the ship's systems on their way out. It's better for a prisoner to escape without incident than for them to be killed after tearing through your AI core.

    The Hammerhead's hovering 
  • The codex says that it uses rocket engines to hover. Yet it can't maintain altitudes more than 2 meters off the ground without overheating the engines. ROCKETS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY, BIOWARE.
  • It depends on how much power is going to the rockets, and how large and powerful the rockets are. With ME tech, they can have very small rockets handling the hovering.
    • It's a hover tank, designed to, get this, hover along the ground. It's not designed for full flight. These rockets aren't simply blowing their entire fuel load in one big burst to overpower gravity, like a space shuttle launching. They're expending force constantly to keep the craft aloft. The maximum altitude the craft can maintain depends entirely on how much thrust the rockets can expell continuously. The thrust can be increased to gain higher altitude for travel or pick-up, but only in short bursts as the rockets simply aren't built for the strain of providing that level of thrust indefinately. That's how rockets work.
      • That's not how rockets work. Hovering 1000 meters above ground takes as much thrust as hovering 1 meter above ground, which is exactly as much as is needed to counter gravity. You only need more thrust while accelerating upwards, when you stop accelerating and are climbing at a constant speed the thrust is again the same as when hovering. In aerodynamic flight (planes and helicopters) there is a ground effect that reduces drag considerably when flying below half the wing span, but the Hammerhead does not employ aerodynamic flight.
      • What he said. Rockets just plain DO NOT WORK THAT WAY. You do not somehow, magically, need more thrust to maintain a higher altitude. In fact, with a rocket, it's the exact opposite, because gravity is (negligibly) weaker the higher you go, and rockets are, by definition, not air-breathers.
      • Admittededly, that was a hastily made, stupid post. That said, the rockets aren't supporting the entire craft's weight. They just suppliment the two huge mass effect generators on its "wings". They provide some support, but they aren't meant to hold the entire thing. When you jump, you're boosting them to the point where they do hold the bulk of the Hammerhead's weight and gain some altitude. They just aren't meant to do so indefinitely and will overheat if run too long like that because they Hammerhead was built to hover along the ground. If not, they might as well have strapped a few guns on the shuttle.
      • Even with mass effect fields (which, really, are a lot more like unobtanium than an actual mechanism for breaking the laws of physics in only one way), it doesn't add up. Mass effect fields should only make the craft less massive, and maybe the rocket exhaust more massive. If the ME fields don't change, it comes down to just how rockets work, meaning hovering high up uses as much energy as hovering by the ground. If "jumping" puts more juice into the ME generators, then... rocket lifts mass X at a stable height. Rocket lifts mass X/2 higher up into the air. ME generators switch back to "normal," and the rockets should hold mass X at a stable height again. The only possible way for the hammerhead to hover is if it somehow has some kind of invisible, phlebotnium-powered fringe that traps a limited-height cushion of the rocket gas between the tank and the ground, like how standard hovercraft have a physical fringe. But the codex doesn't say a thing about that, and the art doesn't indicate it at all.
      • Why do you care? It was designed in a DLC over the course of a few months. Everything else in the game is explained to Death and you're still having an ulcer over a HOVERCRAFT AND HOW IT HOVERS? What's wrong with you people? And besides it's not like a Codex for a videogame is going to explain EVERY SINGLE LITTLE THING FOR A DAMN HOVERCRAFT.

    Alliance Missiles and Kill Switch 
  • In the mission with the two Alliance missiles launched at a human colony by Batarian extremists (who seem to love doing things like this, just ask Terra Nova), you fight your way to the control computer... only to discover there's only one kill-switch code and you'll have to let one missile hit. You would think the system would automatically generate a kill code for any missile launched, but apparently not. One wonders why the Alliance bothered with a kill-switch at all if they aren't going to have enough codes to use it when they need to.
    • Did you miss the fact that the building was under the control of the batarians? They were apparently taking steps to make sure you couldn't disable the missiles - probably deleting the codes or otherwise mucking with the system to keep you from being able to interfere.
    • EDI says that there's only one kill switch code left, which implies the above.

    Mordin holding the line 
  • According to various sources, Mordin is the absolute worst choice and first in line to die during the "Hold The Line" section during the final mission. But when you first meet Mordin on Omega, he has successfully and single-handedly defended his clinic from three different mercenary groups. Yes, Mordin had his mechs and the element of surprise (no one suspects a salarian) at the time, but he must have had a knowledge of defensive strategy as well... which would make Mordin a better choice for a task like holding a position against an enemy. I'm not arguing that Mordin should be as good as the dedicated soldier characters, but between his black-ops training and proven record of defensive tactics, he shouldn't be the worst.
    • Mordin only had to deal with a few Blue Suns thugs and vorcha, both of which will back off if they feel a target isn't worth the effort (the two groups were more interested in killing each other than one clinic, anyway). He never had to fight against the full force of the merc groups. The Collectors, on the other hand, are thousands of mindless husks dedicated to wiping out every intruder on their station. No losses will convince them to ease off, their master won't allow it. Besides that, the squad's positioning forces them into a straight up battle of attrition that Mordin, as an espionage trained agent, simply isn't that well prepared for.
    • Mordin specializes in stealthy hit and run tactics, not fighting waves upon waves of enemies. Also why he's good for sneaking the crew back to the Normandy, but not sitting in one place holding off possibly hundreds of Collectors, on their home turf no less.
    • One of the first conversations you can have with Mordin involves Captain Kirrahe from Virmire. Mordin discusses his dramatic tendancies, and talks about Kirrahe's "Hold the line" speeches. He says that, personally, he would rather "just get the job done and go home" instead of holding the line. That's why he's a good choice to send back to the ship: he got through the Collector Base, and retrieved the Normandy's crew, which was the point of the mission - for him, at least.
    • You also got to look at what weapons they can use. Those who die earlier are usually armed much lighter than those who can last. Mordin's arsenal is submachineguns and pistols. The stronger defenders have at least a sniper rifle or assault rifle to keep enemies at bay.
    • Salarians are terrible about "Holding the Line." It completely contradicts their basic military doctrine. Captain Kirrahe points this out in his speech in the first game. On top of that, almost his entire team is decimated in the best case scenario possible when they attempt to do so. They succeed in buying Shepard time, but they still were devastated in the process.

    Grunt's Effectiveness in the Final Battle 
  • Here's my question: When asked to name a leader for the 'distraction team' during the suicide mission, I figured the best choice would be the giant warrior-race member genetically engineered to be an unstoppable killig machine, with regenerative health and an attitude that would cause him to love being thrown in the midst of the carnage. However, Grunt dies if you choose him for it. It Just Bugs Me that my logic was flawed. Did I go wrong somewhere in my thought process?
    • Yes, you did. Nowhere in your explanation did you mention Grunt having any leadership skills or experience - that's what you need to be a good fire team leader. Only Garrus, Miranda, and (surprisingly) Jacob have the skills and experience for the role. Grunt excels in killing things and is nigh invincible, which is why he's one of the best candidates to hold the line. That doesn't make him a good leader. Also, bear in mind the traditional krogan tactic is either to overwhelm the enemy with troops, or keep shooting until one side gives way. Neither is going to work during the Suicide Mission.
      • I see your point, but if he's been genetically engineered as the ultimate soldier, is it not logical to assume he would be pre-programmed to have SOME leadership skill? Also, he's been raised to be part of a regular army, which Garrus has as well. But Miranda and Jacob are closer to mercs than soliders. Even taking into account Jacob's experience in the Alliance, and the fact that his father was seen as able to captain a ship (fat load of good that did, but whatever), he and Miranda work in squads that presumably specialize in something closer to guerrilla warfare than a 'hold the line' military formation. Finally, while I realize Grunt may have his problems with leadership, he doesn't appear to DIE because of defunct leadership skills. He takes a shot during the retreat, which went as planned and he didn't lose a squad member in, and the whole 'invincible krogan' thing goes out the window as he croaks.
      • He wasn't engineered to be the perfect soldier. He was engineered to be the perfect krogan. There's no reason to program him with leadership skill because there aren't any krogan "leaders." They follow the strongest krogan around: they rule by divine right of being able to kick your ass. Wrex is the only krogan who really puts any effort into leading his people towards anything other than conquest, and even he only got to the head of the Urdnot clan because he's a fucking badass. Miranda, meanwhile, ran the Lazarus project and is the first officer on the Normandy. Jacob is her lieutenant. Garrus ran a merc group on Omega, had the standard turian military training, and was a C-Sec officer. They're all used to issuing orders and knowing which orders are the right ones to give.
      • There's a hole in your logic. "There are no krogran leaders", yet they follow the strongest krogan? Wouldn't that mean that the strongest krogan is a leader and thus there are krogan leaders? There logically would have to be some krogan leaders, or else they wouldn't be a serious enough threat to warrant biological wafare.
      • How this Troper understands it is that there are no krogans that lead by pure Charisma. If a krogan is in charge, he got there by kicking someone's ass.
      • They were deadly enough to warrant biological warfare because a) each individual krogan is stronger, more resilient, and a better fighter than any given member of any other species, b) turians don't believe in holding back military advantages in the name of "fairness," and c) they reproduce quickly enough that their entire military strategy was We Have Reserves. Shepard is a leader. Krogan are warlords.
    • There's also the fact that, even if Okeer taught him leadership in the tank, he still doesn't have any real world leadership experience. And if you actually talk to Grunt enough and confront him on how bloodthirsty he is, he basically admits to being little more than a mindless brute. He is, as his name implies, a grunt. Some krogan are leaders, battlemasters, but Grunt is not one of those krogan. For comparison, Wrex was a battlemaster.
    • For the record I think the reason it resulted in Grunt personally getting killed was that he allowed himself to be flanked without fire support, and as a result took a lot of damage that a better leader would have avoided.
    • You actually answered your own question. Grunt loves to be in thick of battle. He's aggressive and reckless. So rather than deploying the team in strategic ways to maximize the odds of everyone making it through alive, he charges forward and blows the heads off Collectors with little regard to keeping safe. He probably takes enough damage to leave him vulnerable to that last bullet he takes. A better leader is able to keep Grunt more in control to avoid that situation.
  • Something else I just realized with a second play through of ME 1: the krogan are supposed to have these healing abilities that make them so tough, right? In fact, most krogan I fought in the first game fell down and healed themselves, and I had to kill them all over again. Did they forget about this in the second game? Because Grunt is obviously shot only once, even if they 'got through his shields', he still had yet to sustain an actual bullet wound. What's the deal?
    • No, they didn't forget about it. In fact, if you bothered paying attention to krogan and vorcha in this game, you'll note that they regenerate health very quickly if they're not getting shot at; vorcha can go from death's door to full health in less than a minute if you don't kill them fast (or use fire). And what do you mean, "still had yet to sustain an actual bullet wound"? None of the other characters show visible bullet wounds when they go down. For shit's sake, one of your squadmates gets hit in the head with a rocket and their head stays intact. Grunt apparently sustained countless wounds fighting the Collectors, they're just not shown. Most likely, he suffered enough wounds to knock out his primary organs, recovered on his secondaries, and kept taking hits until they failed too.

     Shepard with Cerberus 
  • Anderson, Udina, and the three aliens all know that you're working for Cerberus. It's a known fact that Cerberus is a terrorist organization. How is it that you are allowed to parade around the Citadel while everybody has full knowledge of your connection to Cerberus? This could be understandable if you accepted your Spectre status, but you have the option to reject your Spectre status.
    • Shepard prevented the annihilation of the entire galaxy, a civilisation of upwards of a trillion individuals. That's likely to give you a bit of freedom. Cerberus has members everywhere: in one of the mission debriefings, TIM says he'll make sure that C-Sec doesn't trace any of the action back to Shepard. Anderson is Shepard's friend and is likely keeping a lid on what's he's doing. Most of your missions take place in the Terminus, outside of Council space. And, finally, there are hints that the Alliance and Cerberus are closely linked: in the first game, Kahoku calls them a "rogue black ops organisation", and after the First Contact War setting up such an organisation would make sense (think of Section 31 from Star Trek). So the Alliance may also be covering up a lot of Shepard's actions.
    • Cerberus also isn't really openly acknowledged, and they haven't done anything against the Citadel itself, so they're not going to bother you. As far as they're concerned, you're just a member of human nongovernment organization. Also, one common response to knowing someone is working for a rival agency is to simply monitor them, as their actions, communications, and contacts can help you gather intelligence on the other organization.
    • Most importantly, the Council, and Citadel space, seems to believe inherently in the rights of people to do what they want so long as it's not illegal. Affiliation with a group doesn't make one evil (just ask members of Eclipse or the Blue Suns). It would be wrong (or at the very least, impractical) to declare anyone working for those groups a criminal and ban them from the Citadel. Thus they don't do it. But just because you aren't stopped from performing business on the Citadel does not mean you aren't being watched while you do it...
      • "Most importantly, the Council, and Citadel space, seems to believe inherently in the rights of people to do what they want so long as it's not illegal." That's...not a very good argument. Basically what you just said was "The Council lets people do whatever they want, except when they don't". Eclipse and the Blue Suns are at least semi-legitimate corporation-like organizations. (In that way they're more similar to the Yakuza than the Mafia.) Cerberus, however, is not. It's a known terrorist organization. This troper can only assume that it's some sort of jurisdictional issue. The Citadel regards Cerberus as an illegal organization, but they mainly operate outside the Council's reach.
      • You may not like the argument, but that doesn't make the statement any less true. The Council doesn't do anything about Eclipse and the Blue Suns, NOT because they are semi-legitimate. (For the record, Cerberus is semi-legitimate... Where is their money coming from? It's not all from illegal sources, just like the Blue Suns and Eclipse.) The Council doesn't do anything because taking the effort to do so would be counterproductive. At present, Cerberus would not be equal to a terrorist organization (there is not enough adequate proof to determine that). If Cerberus isn't a business, then Cerberus would be equivalent to the batarians. At the moment, the batarians don't recognize the Council as the governing body of the galaxy, and do what they want without regards of the Council's wishes. A (non-human) Council doesn't declare the batarians evil and arrest them when they enter Citadel space (even though the majority we've seen have been really, really bad... kind of like Cerberus projects), so they wouldn't do the same to Cerberus. And a human Council, as much as they might denounce Cerberus publicly (to appease the other races and not start a war), probably approves of Cerberus' actions.
      • Cerberus isn't semi-legitimate. It's outright described as a terrorist organization, and the only reason (in my playthrough, at least) that Shepard wasn't brought up on charges of treason is because Councillor Anderson flat-out refused to entertain the possibility. They have crazy money because of rich investors (the Illusive Man himself and Miranda's father among them) but no company is going to advertise itself as being part of Cerberus in the way that companies will openly and proudly hire mercenaries. Moreover, Blue Suns and Eclipse are legitimate because of where they operate: the Terminus Systems, where nothing is illegitimate. If Cerberus kept their experiments and activities exclusively to the Terminus Systems, no one would give a shit. However, they don't. They operate in Alliance space, which is subject to Citadel law, which makes them terrorists, which puts Shepard in hot water for associating with them.
      • If the Blue Suns did not operate in Citadel space, I'm sure you were quite surprised to see them on the Citadel when you were hunting down Harkin. And Cerberus is semi-legitimate, no matter their description. Any organization that gains money from legitimate sources (companies that pay taxes, charitable donations, and the like) are all considered legitimate. They only have the "semi-" attached once they start using said money to perform or assist in illegal activity. Finally, since the majority of Cerberus experiments have occurred in Alliance space, and because the Alliance allows them to operate unhindered, one can only assume that the Alliance does not consider Cerberus to truly be a terrorist organization as some members of the Citadel do.
      • The Blue Suns were working for Harkin illegally, but yes, granted, they do sometimes operate in Citadel space. They still mostly work out of Terminus space. Their base of operations, most of their members, and their founders are in Terminus space. Regardless, the fact that Cerberus' funders are legitimate businessmen doesn't make Cerberus legitimate, semi- or otherwise. If Bill Gates and Ted Turner got together to fund a gang of assassins through secret donations and shell companies, that wouldn't make the assassins legit. Cerberus used to be legit back when they were working for the Alliance: when the Illusive Man took the organization rogue, they became an illegal organization. The Alliance didn't "allow" them to operate, they just did, either in secret or through bribes and intimidation. Furthermore, the Alliance is subject to the rulings of the Citadel. Thus, if the Citadel says that Cerberus is a terrorist organization, it is, even in Alliance space.
      • If Gates and Turner funded assassins through companies, assassins would not be legit. But the companies used to supply the money would be, if they worked their taxes correctly, and did something along with funding assassins. We don't know the scope of the companies under the Cerberus moniker, and thus cannot adequately comment on their illegitimacy. Although, the fact that they still exist probably means they are legitimate. Second, when the Alliance knows that Cerberus is operating in their space, and does nothing about their operations, that is the definition of "allowing them to operate." Finally, while the Alliance is subject to the rulings of the Council (in theory), it's not known if there was ever a ruling about Cerberus. The most a Council member says is that Cerberus is "an organization that commits terrorist acts." No one important ever says that Cerberus is a "terrorist organization." There is a difference between the two statements.
    • Also shown in the Lair of the Shadow Broker that Internal Affairs requested permission from Admiral Hackett (Fleet Command, the guy giving your orders in ME 1) to capture Shepard to account for his/her missing two years and "desertion" to Cerberus; Admiral Hackett replies with a simple "Request Denied". You also see that Admiral/Councilor Anderson himself has dealings with Cerberus (The Shadow Broker has a video of him meeting an operative). Finally, in Garrus: Eye for an Eye, Cerberus Operatives in C-Sec ensure that no charges will be filed on Shepard or Garrus (according to the mission summary). If we go to the Presidium before going through security (which requires editing the save game), you find out that Executor Chellick (new head of C-Sec, you had a chance to help him in ME 1 when he was just a detective) specifically makes Shepard an exception if you don't accept or receive Spectre status. It would appear Cerberus, and Shepard in particular, has a lot of protection.
      • Well, considering Shepherd did save the entire galaxy, a bit of special treatment isn't particularly surprising. I was assuming the Alliance (and possibly the Citadel) was going easy on Cerberus specifically because Shepherd was working with them. It's also possible that the Citadel needs Alliance sanction to take action against a specifically human organization such as Cerberus, or that it falls under Alliance jurisdiction, and the Alliance have just decided to not do anything.
  • That changes however in Retribution when many cerberus agents are killed and captured by the Turian Government and C-sec.

    Vorcha Speech Patterns 
  • The universal translators have every other species as grammatically correct English, perhaps accented a bit, yet the vorcha are translated with a You No Take Candle type speech pattern. Part of me thinks it might be part of the prejudice against vorcha, but it doesn't really make much sense for the translators to facilitate that.
    • This implies the vorcha's speech is translated. There are humans who have learned to speak asari, turian, salarian, batarian and/or krogan to facilitate their interactions with those species better. Some members of those races have done the same for English (or whatever the language the Alliance officially uses). The vorcha may not be speaking a native tongue, but actually be speaking asari, turian, or even English, with the grammar completely incorrect and the translator isn't compensating because of it.
    • I'm going to go out on a limb, and say that because the translators are capable of perfectly translating tone, attitude, inflection, meaning, and whatnot, they are very sophisticated—modern day "Babel Fish" type translators take a casual sentence and turn it into a strictly formal, and a bit unintelligble, mess. A good human translator, when translating, takes into account both languages and translates so that meaning and intent are conveyed through the language barrier. My guess is, the vorcha aren't speaking properly, so the translator picks up on that and translate what they're saying, and how they're saying it.
    • The races are responsible for maintaining and updating their own language codexes, so their translation is only as good as they make it.
    • The universal translators DO NOT translate all alien speech into grammatically-perfect English. There are examples of aliens who don't use perfect grammar. For instance, in the Rita's Sister sidequest in ME 1, as you leave Chora's Den you bump into a turian who tells you to go to C-Sec headquarters if you're concerned about Jenna's safety. If Shepard tries to question him the turian pretends to be drunk and says "Push off! I never did nothin' to you!"
      • Possibly Chellick wasn't speaking gramatically perfect language-he-was-speaking. Thus, the translator interprets it as "intentionally misused grammar signifying the speaker is a tough guy" and translated it accordingly.
      • Exactly. The translators translate language "as-is", bad grammar and all. So assuming the vorcha speech is translated, they're literally using crummy grammar.
    • The avaerage vorcha probbly just doesn't know decent grammar and instead speak their language incorrectly. It's translated that way because that's how they talk.
      • Vorcha language is apparently a very physical one, according to the Codex. Most likely they're using some kind of galactic lingua franca; the codex mentions the existence of a simplified language used when two people can't speak the other's language, but don't have translators handy.

     Shielding Inconsistencies 
  • So throughout the game, your party members' secondary health meter can be described as either a "shield", "barrier", or "armor", which I assume means your party members are using either shields, biotic barriers, or just powerful armor to protect themselves. So why can't your party members mix things up with this? Why can't Jack, Grunt, Samara/Morinth, or Jacob put on a shield to help with their defenses? Why can't some of your other hardier party members like Garrus or Shepard himself/herself wear heavy armor to help protect themselves like Grunt and Zaeed do? I know they try to Hand Wave a bit of this in-game, by saying that Shepard's experimental biotic implants prevent him/her from forming a biotic barrier, but you'd think a personal shield would be standard issue for Cerberus operatives like Jacob.
    • I do believe you are mistaken. All your party members do have shields (except Grunt, he has armor, for the purposes of gameplay it shows up as shields but they aren't drained on Haestrom). Those party members that can put up barriers (Jacob with biotic barrier, Grunt with Fortification, Legion with Geth Shield Boost, Sheperd with any of the three as advanced training plus Tech Armor if Shepard is a Sentinel). For the purposes of gameplay, each of those powers just boost the shield capacity (armor capacity for Grunt). But for the purposes of the story with Jacob (and Shepard if he has it) the biotic barrier is a different protective entity. Same with Fortification and Tech Armor for Shepard.* But again, the gameplay mechanic treats them the same as shields because it has to.
    • As for why Grunt doesn't have shields or Jack and Samara/Morinth don't have a biotic barrier in story? It's debatable. Grunt, I assume, because shields are for weaklings, and he's a krogan (thus, not weak). Jack doesn't have a barrier because why does she need it? Her biotics would kill anyone who challenges her. Same explanation with Samara/Morinth, I would assume. But again, that's debatable.
    • Grunt does have shields. If he dies while on the suicide mission, leading the diversion team, then he mentions that they got through his shields. Shields and armor are represented by the same bar.
      • The problem with this route is that everyone says the exact same line when they die leading the diversion team. That they got through the shields. I think this is more an error in the script than an admission that Grunt has shields and armor.
      • No it isn't. Not all of them mention shields. It makes more sense anyway that they all have shields and it's simply represented by their shield/barrier/armor bar, with whatever their primary defense system is being prominient.
      • Ok, you're correct. Jack is the only one who doesn't mention shields.* And yes, it does make some sense that all of them have shields as all combat hard-suits have an outer layer of kinetic barriers built into them as a primary defense. Still say Grunt's comment is a script error though. With krogan secondary and tertiary organs, I just don't see shields going down being the reason for his death.
      • Being that Grunt is an 'outstanding example of the Krogan species' it is hard to think he was killed due to shield failure alone. The only explanation I could think of is that Grunt, being the young and reckless Krogan he is, got hit A LOT from just charging into the hail of bullets.

     The PS 3 Port 
  • Okay, so the PS 3 is getting a port of Mass Effect 2. I understand how this works, given the massive popularity of the series now. However, what's going to happen to players when they port their decisions into Mass Effect 3 and don't have anything from the first game? You know, important things like whether Wrex died, whether Shepard spared the Rachni Queen, whether Shepard saved the Council, etc. The only way I can see it working is if the game either assumes "all Paragon" for Paragon players and "all Renegade" for Renegade players, but that still leaves a lot of problems with continuity.
    • There's going to be an introductory cinematic that introduces the player to the series and allows them to make some choices. This troper thinks it would be easier if you could import a save from PC/360 to the PS 3, but knows it will never happen.
      • Sounds lame. I get the feeling that it'd rob them a lot of their punch. It's one thing to have a quick cinematic where you get to see a few key moments. It's another thing entirely to actually storm up the side of the Citadel with Sovereign slowly looming larger and larger as you approach Saren, to be in the middle of a tense firefight and being forced to decide whether Earth's forces should step in and die to save the Council, versus holding back the human ships to fight Sovereign, et cetera.
      • Personally I'm annoyed at the implication that the PS 3 version will let you just choose, but the 360 version doesn't even have that option. Yes the original was on the 360, but that doesn't mean that everyone has played it.
      • Evidently about half of all Mass Effect 2 playthroughs were based off an imported character.
      • Well, see, 360 has Mass Effect 1, while the PS 3 doesn't (and more importantly, probably never will, because the first game was published by Microsoft Game Studios). You don't get the option because they make more money off of you. But I don't think you'll get to make many choices. I imagine it'll just be: Council dead/alive, Wrex dead/alive, Rachni Queen dead/alive. Those were the major choices.
      • It might let you pick Ashley/Kaidan, too. Honestly, PS 3 version doesn't sound so appealing, since you can't import. What about romances, what about sidequests?
      • If they are SMART, they might be able to save this increasingly sorry mess with some clever thinking and by tossing together some money (which they aren't exactly short of) to get the VA crew back together. My suggestion: AMNESIA! Something goes wrong bringing Shepard back to life (possibly as the result of Wilson's attempt to seize the body forcing a premature wakeup) resulting in Shepard having virtually no memories of their life. After Miranda and Jacob naturally find out that the memory didn't take, they start trying to quiz based on what scattered fragments they DO know (by making the initial ME 2 discussion vastly more KOTOR II esque rather than the morality points scoring bit it is now). Of course, as it turns out that Shepard retains his/her military skills but completely has forgotten most of their previous life, Cerberus opts to... leave some things out, possibly including the nature of the Reapers themselves (perhaps judging that they wouldn't believe them if they did tell). As the campaign goes on and you run into fairly familiar faces and things, bits of memory start to resurface and Shepard lives out tiny pieces of the past to "set" the universe like the KOTOR II esque dialogue in the start. Is it cliched? Somewhat. But it sure as HELL is a lot better than what they have now!
      • Uhm, no. No it's not. In fact, it's kinda stupid. In all honesty, since they can't release the first game, the cinematic thing really is the best choice. Will the plot choices lack the punch? Probably, but at the same time, the first game's been out for a few years, and the port isn't coming out until mid January, which is enough time for potential buyers to at least see a playthrough on the internet and get a feel which route they want to go. It's better than nothing, and I'm just glad they're putting it in at all and not completely screwing PS 3 owners over with Mass Effect 3.
    • Well, it's been finalized. You can watch the whole comic online. Part one here, and part two here. The six choices you get to make are the following: Rachni queen on Noveria, romance (if any), Wrex's fate, Ashley/Kaidan on Virmire, Council's fate, Anderson or Udina for council.
    • Actually, this may come out for all platforms so everyone can do this.

     Tali and Garrus 
  • Why does Shepard have to earn the loyalty of Tali and Garrus? If you import a game played where you don't help Garrus with Dr. Saleon and don't give the geth info to Tali, it makes sense. But if you played ME 1 as White Knight Shepard and helped out both party members, shouldn't they start the second game as loyal crewmates? They both know Shepard is awesome, loyal and trustworthy. Why do I have to impress them again?
    • Loyalty doesn't imply personal loyalty in this case, it's so they go on the suicide mission without any personal or emotional distractions.
    • Needing to prove yourself towards Tali is acceptable on the basis that you may have been awesome, loyal and trustworthy, but two years after dying she finds you're working for (or with) Cerberus. She's supposed to trust you implicitly? Garrus is iffy. I have the alternate feeling that if you're playing ME 1 as a white knight Paragon, Garrus is less likely to trust a Shepard who is now working for(/with) Cerberus. Whereas a Renegade style Shepard is more apt to receive such trust off the bat. But Garrus' loyalty mission is more about what is said above. Going through the suicide mission without any distractions, rather than actual loyalty.
    • Tali is heavily distracted, what with the whole "you've been accused of treason" thing. She needs to get that resolved.
    • Similarly, Garrus, no matter how much he may trust Shepard personally, is still torn up about Sidonis betraying him. He blames himself for losing his entire squad (men who joined him solely because they believed in him and his cause) and nearly dying without making any lasting improvements on Omega. It makes sense that he wouldn't be on top of his game without some closure.
    • On the previous mission, Tali and Garrus, no matter how close they might have been to you, had their own reasons for signing on with you. Tali joined up because she was on her Pilgrimage and wanted to find more about the geth, with an eye towards being able to reclaim her homeland. Garrus wanted Saren taken down, both because he escaped justice and because he escaped Garrus, personally. Shepard asking Tali and Garrus to tag along with Cerberus is a completely different thing: they're signing on for someone else's mission funded by people they know to have unethical operating standards. It makes sense that it takes a big gesture for them to loyal up.

     Zaeed as a Fire Team Leader 
  • This doesn't actually bug me and I can think of a few justifications, but I know at least one person it bugged, so let's get some responses. Why is it that Zaeed, the founder of a mercenary outfit, someone presumably long acquainted with small-squad tactics, and someone described as The Veteran whose history pretty much defines, "can command from experience"; why is it that he is not considered an 'optimal' choice as a fire team leader?
    • The most reasoned response I have heard for this (and it makes sense) is: Since Vido took over the Blue Suns, and left Zaeed for dead, every venture Zaeed has undertaken has resulted in the death of everyone involved except for Zaeed. He's a good leader at getting the job done, but if you want anyone to survive the mission, it's best not to follow him. Zaeed opts to follow you rather than lead, thus his "curse" can be broken... so long as you don't ask him to lead anyone else during a segment.
    • Zaeed's stories lead me to believe that he's pretty big on the concept of "acceptable losses". So long as the job gets done and he gets paid, it doesn't matter much to him who survives.
    • The hilarious/annoying thing is that Zaeed's dialogue, and party banter, during the mission all points to him being a fantastic success at the job - no difficulty in the fights, they're not slowed down and are actually ahead of their planned schedule. Yet despite all this, he somehow becomes overwhelmed at the last second. I think Zaeed was originally intended as a valid choice for a fire team leader, but Bioware decided against it in the end.
    • If you recruit Zaeed via the Paragon route, he complains that he's survived this long by watching his own back and never worrying about anyone else, with Shepard then stating that this time, it's a team effort and Zaeed needs to be a team player. So, Zaeed dying as a fire team leader could be that he's got the experience to keep the others alive, but he just can't bring himself to trust them fully and so unconsciously leaves himself exposed in a fashion that the Collectors can — and do — take advantage of.
      • There's also the fact that Zaeed lost control of the Blue Suns because his men were so loosely allied to him that Vido was able to talk them into not only supporting Vido taking Zaeed's place, but actually pinning Zaeed down so that Vido could shoot him in the face. That doesn't speak too highly of his leadership qualities.
      • Note that all of Zaeed's stories about his past missions have one thing in common: everyone died but him. The fact that this is a common theme of his previous experience is a convincing argument against letting him lead the fire team.
      • Actually, not every time he goes on a mission does everyone die. Just that a lot of people die.

     Mordin as Tech Expert 
  • So we've got a former-STG agent, trained in infiltration and espionage, who can play an omni-tool like a fiddle and is the only member of the crew with experience in Collector tech. You would think he'd be a perfect choice for the Tech Expert during the suicide mission, as opposed to Tali, Kasumi, and Legion, who most likely don't even understand the Collectors' language, much less their technology. And yet, the game says otherwise. Why? And before someone says "Mordin's a geneticist, not an engineer," the Collectors are masters of Organic Technology; what's to say that Mordin isn't even more qualified than a "traditional" tech expert simply because of that?
    • Why are you assuming that Mordin is some kind of Omnidisciplinary Scientist? Mordin is a scientist who specializes in alternate weaponry like flames, drugs, and cryonics. He is not a hacker and is not a specialist in disabling electronic technology, as evidenced by the fact that he utterly lacks any ability to affect technological enemies. And the Collectors are not "masters" of Organic Technology. Look at the technology they use. It is not organic at all. Its straightforward technology using metal and ceramics and conventional electronics. This is evidenced by the fact that people who specialize in dealing with conventional electronics are the best option for dealing with their technology.
      • (original poster here) I never said Mordin was an omnidisciplinary scientist. I was saying that there's no reason to think that the Collector's technology (which is mostly repurposed Prothean or Reaper tech, which at the very least looks organic, even if it isn't) would be compatible with modern-day hacking techniques, and that Mordin is the only member of the squad who has specifically dealt with Collector tech before. Mordin has at least enough tech knowledge to operate combat mechs and the Normandy's research lab, and his STG training must have included at least some basic espionage; hacking wouldn't be that big a stretch except for gameplay balance.
      • Being able to operate mechs means nothing. Operating mechs involves flipping an "on" switch. Operating in Normandy's research lab doesn't mean he's an expert at hacking or bypassing firewalls; it means he's savvy with research machinery. Working with Collector technology and samples may give him an understanding of their technology, but he doesn't have the expertise in actually defeating electronic security measures to make the most effective use of it. Electronic warfare in this setting is an extremely specialized field, and for that you are going to want someone who is extremely adept at it. Mordin may be reasonably savvy with technology, but you don't want someone who is merely reasonably savvy with bypassing electronic security. You want one of the specialists that you recruited specifically for their expertise in bypassing security systems across the galaxy (Kasumi), extensive knowledge of mechanical equipment, advanced electronics, and defeating security systems (Tali) or someone whose entire existence is based on software and electronics and possesses the collective expertise of an entire society of mechanical and electronic entities (Legion). Compared with them, Mordin is not as capable at the role. He is competent, but competent simply doesn't cut it. Leave the tech work to the true specialists that you recruited for the role, not to the guy who is cross-trained in but not a specialist in it.
      • Seizing on something else: yes, Collector technology is at least partially organic in nature. The Collector Armor is described as being "chitinous," and the Collector Assault Rifle has an "internal organ" as a power source. Moreover, you could argue that Husks, Scions, and Praetorians are their equivalents of mechs, and are made of dead bodies.

    Sovereign, Harbinger, and Reaper naming conventions 
  • So, in Mass Effect, we meet the Reaper that was left in our galaxy to act as herald for the next invasion, the first Reaper the doomed galaxy will encounter before the rest of them crawl out from the stars to kill everyone. This first Reaper is called Sovereign. In Mass Effect 2, we meet the apparent overlord of the Reapers, the one who leads them towards our galaxy and commands the actions of their slaves. This Reaper is called Harbinger. Does this seem a bit backward to anyone else?
    • Sovereign isn't the first Reaper's real name. Its real name is Nazara; Sovereign is what Saren called it.
      • Nazara may not be its real name either. Only the name it told the geth.
    • Who said Harbinger was the leader of the Reapers? A lot of people seem to assume it's the leader, but there's absolutely no in-game proof of that.
    • The word 'harbinger' means a herald or a foreshadowing of a future event ("We are the harbinger of your destruction"). Far from being the Reaper overlord (if they even have one), Harbinger appears to be just a step up from Sovereign. The last advance scout before the invasion.

    Real-time Illusive Man-Shepard communication system 
  • Just how did that communications system working again? It was supposed to be based on quantum entanglement, right? But isn't entanglement of 2 particles by itself impossible to be used to transmit information (as in No-communication theorem, probably?)? Or does it involve some other process? Even if we use quantum teleportation, the speed of light's still the limit, isn't it?
    • No. The communication methodology relies on two entangled particles that instantly alter depending on the status of the other. They essentially transmit in extremely fast binary. Theoretically, two entangled particles are actually able to alter instantly in response to each other regardless of distance.
      • I'd just like to point out that our current knowledge of quantum entanglement is extremely iffy, and that most scientists have come down on the side of "it probably can't be used for communication." Excusable, however, in a series with a magical particle that allows faster-than-light travel and telekinesis. :D
      • "It probably can't be used for communication unless we can find a way around the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle." Which we can't. Most sci-fi stories that use quantum entanglement as a method of FTL communication assume that we found a way around it at some point. Note Star Trek's "Heisenburg Compensator," and EVE online has an entire faux-scientific article dedicated to the idea.
      • Of course most sci-fi stories assume we got around it. Any story involving FTL assumes we've gotten around that pesky issue involving the speed of light, too.
      • I've heard of a method for communication that relies on the Heisenburg uncertainty principle. Each side takes a measurement at specified intervals, giving them a measurement and altering the state. If they want to send a message, they do it again before the other side makes their measurement and changes the state. This is a pretty condensed summary and I am not a particle physicist, so it might be an inaccurate explanation or completely wrong.
      • Yes, you're thinking of Quantum Communication (or Quantum Encryption). Basically, you encode information into your particle. You now know the state of the particle. The other side reads the data, causing a change in your particle. You read that change, and send the difference between your data and the changed value to the other side. They then apply that change to the data they read, and now they have the original data. It is physically impossible to intercept the data, but due to Heisenburg Uncertainty altering the result we read, we need to send that difference over light-speed or less communications (This difference is useless to anyone else. Imagine encoding the number "2" in the particle. The recipient reads the number "5" on their particle. No one else has this number. You then send the difference "+3" across insecure channels. Anyone capturing this "+3" doesn't know what the value is, just how to modify it). Thus, quantum communication does not provide FTL communication, just really, really secure communication.
    • This Just Bugs Me now suffers from Science Marches On. Scientific journal Nature has published an article (abstract here) where scientists demonstrate quantum entanglement communication over 144km.
    • Presumably it became possible at some point in ME's history to observe a particle without altering it. The only reason we can't do that now is because we "read" particles by throwing other particles at it (photons in everyday life, or electrons in scientific practice) and making note of where those particles end up colliding with a sensor (eyes/cameras for photons, florescent screen for electrons). If we could find a way to observe a particle without the collisions currently necessary, Quantum Communications would indeed be the ultimate in instantaneous (Quantum Entanglement is instant, regardless of distance. Not just FTL), 100% secure communications.

    Two issues with Legion 
  • Firstly, when you ask Legion about himself, he says that his runtimes are "building a consensus" and that you have to wait. But when he explains the nature of geth government (or lack thereof), he claims that geth build consensus as different viewpoints are considered. All the runtimes in Legion have the same viewpoint, that of the mobile platform they're in. There shouldn't be anything to process. Same applies to his lack of consensus on whether to destroy or mind-rape the heretics.
    • Each runtime is in the same platform now, thus they presumably have the same viewpoint? This ignores the idea that each runtime may have been in a different platform prior to Legion, getting a different viewpoint. And a different platform before that, getting a different viewpoint. Each of those viewpoints would equate experiences. Each experience changes the overall view of an individual runtime. Thus, they wouldn't all have the same viewpoint. There may be a flaw in that answer, but only one equal to "We are all geth, and we have not met you."
      • Yes, but the runtimes would've shared these experiences among themselves "at the speed of light" long before even meeting Shepard. Each runtime would then have access to all others' experiences and thus their viewpoints would be identical. This of course completely ignores Tali's dialog from ME, which indicates that the geth aren't a hive mind and merely share processing power. ME 2 seems to have scrapped that concept.
      • No. That's entirely the answer to your question. The geth runtimes are all "individuals". The geth as a race make decisions based on consensus, but each runtime is allowed to develop their own conclusions. As someone on this wiki once said, the geth aren't a "hive mind". They're a "mind hive". Their entire culture could be said to be the internet. That doesn't mean they all think exactly alike.
      • This is what it reads you are saying of the geth: "I have told you my view of this issue (my experience), you have told me yours. Therefore we have both experiences, and thus, our views on this situation must be identical." If you agree with this, then I am right (because you can't disagree with my view), if you disagree, then I am right (because my view is that the statement is flawed). Do you see the inherent logic problem with the statement? As for Tali's dialog, I don't see them scrapping the concept, I see a teenage quarian trying to explain how a different species works, based on what she learned in history class. Seeing a differing view of what she told you doesn't mean the they are contradicting cannon, so much that it means Tali doesn't truly know how the geth work (and likely the quarians don't either).
      • Flawed logic. Humans think differently from each other because they have different hardware (ie. brains) and software (ie. memories and experiences that have 'programmed' them to think a certain way). According to Legion, the geth do not have hardware at all, they're purely math-based and it doesn't matter what hardware their software runs on. As for their software, he also states that once the heretics are incorporated back into the geth, their memories will be disseminated among the other geth. That indicates that they indeed do share memories (= viewpoints = ways of thinking) with each other - what would you call that, then, if not a hive mind?
      • If the geth have no hardware, and the way their software is set up they cannot have different ways of thinking, how did the heretics disagree with the geth in the first place, as their memories were disseminated with each other at that point? (By evidence of Legion stating the heretics had shared their view with the geth, the two disagreed, and the heretics were allowed to leave.)
      • Perhaps the same way that the heretics were planning to convert the rest of the geth to their way of thinking. Legion says Nazara contacted them - who says indoctrination is limited to organics?
      • No one did. But it's asinine to claim that if all viewpoints are shared within the geth, all conclusions must be the same, if by evidence of the split of the geth while their viewpoints were shared, this is clearly not the case. Either the all conclusions being the same is wrong, the all viewpoints being shared is wrong, or both are wrong. If we take Legion at his word that the split was amicable after the heretics shared their viewpoints, then the two cannot both be true, since the geth split from one unified group into two different factions. The only other option is Legion is lying, in which case the argument is again dead, because your basis for it is due to Legion being accurate in his statements.
      • Actually it is necessary rather than asinine that viewpoints are shared within the geth. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to reach a consensus on any issue and would remain paralyzed by indecision. Legion notes as much when he contrasts their own method of decision-making by building consensus by considering all viewpoints with that of organic democracies, which impose it by codifying the most broadly acceptable average of views. And you're still dismissing the possibility of indoctrination. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that is the only possible solution. The heretic virus doesn't give geth new data to convince them, it alters the way they think so that they find the same data convincing. The only way the heretics could've disagreed with the rest of the geth is if they'd been altered in this way, and the only one who could've altered them was Nazara.
      • It was indoctrination. No one said otherwise, because it shouldn't need to be said. The heretic BIOS was changed from 1.4221 to 1.4222 (the analogy Legion uses), thereby creating the "error" in initial processing changing the way one interprets all data. But this doesn't change or affect your assertion that all viewpoints being shared amongst interconnected runtimes equates to every runtime interpreting the viewpoints in the same way. If every runtime was interconnected, including those with a BIOS process of 1.4222 instead of 1.4221, then they should all have the same interpretation of the viewpoint, by your argument of "each viewpoint is the same, thus their interpretations must be the same." If you accept that the BIOS change can affect the different interpretation (as you should), there is no reason to claim that there is no other possible way for the different interpretations to occur. It should be noted that the BIOS bit is a complete analogy, and for all we know, each geth runtime holds a different BIOS factor from each other. The analogy was for Legion to explain it in terms Shepard might understand, but to say that anyone truly does is at the least a complete fabrication and at most an outright lie.
      • I don't see why you keep arguing. Legion states it in no uncertain terms: "Data is shared between geth. All viewpoints are considered. Consensus is achieved as data is disseminated." Perhaps you do not understand the meaning of the word "consensus". It doesn't mean "majority", it means that "everyone agrees".
      • ... Where in "everyone agrees" are the heretic geth runtimes at the time of their departure from the geth? Once you explain that aspect, in relationship to your entire premise, then the argument will be over.
      • Um, they're indoctrinated/hacked/whatever. Their way of thinking is changed, hence why they interpret the same data differently and cannot reach consensus with the rest of the geth.
      • And the two contradicting facts cannot exist at the same time. If the heretic geth can not achieve consensus with the rest of the geth, then, by definition, a consensus is not reached all the time. The fact that they don't always come to a consensus is right there. Your question should instead be, "Why do the runtimes not come to a consensus now?" This is a valid question, but not one anyone can ever answer adequately, because there could be many, many reasons.
      • Alternative theory: they're not indoctrinated, but even subtle viewpoints dramatically influence decisions. Let's say, for example, that the geth are presented with new information (such as the Reapers' plan). The rate at which dissent would gather amongst their ranks would also occur faster than it would with humanity. Part of the reason human beings can get along is because we make "knee-jerk" decisions; so, if someone tries to persuade us to do something, they usually won't give us too much time to think it over, because they want us to overlook glaring flaws and make hasty decisions. The geth don't have that problem—instead, they have another one: because information is disseminated at the speed of light, some geth come to different logical conclusions rather quickly. Legion himself says that both the heretic conclusions and true geth conclusions were correct, but simply reached from different means. For the geth to agree unanimously, that means that they would need to conclude that there is only one "correct" conclusion, which as we've seen, doesn't always happen fast despite their insanely quick processing speed. There's the possibility that at any given time in the geth, there are hundreds of thousands of tiny debates raging that can take anywhere from microseconds to years to build consensus upon.
      • You're not getting it. The geth do reach consensus all the time, it's only because some of them are indoctrinated that there's a split. They're not geth anymore, any more than husks are humans. They were geth, they look like geth, but they're not geth. They were made out of geth by Reapers, just like husks were made out of humans.
      • If you want people not to take your arguments personally, don't make statements like "you're not getting it". I hear what you're saying just fine, but I have issues with it. For one, you can't use indoctrination as a case for your argument because that in itself is a conclusion you came to support your argument. It's never outright stated that the geth are indoctrinated—Legion says that the heretics are not "incorrect", only that they have a different perspective. Remember, that the heretic virus is not the same as what the heretics themselves experienced; the virus was only recently developed. If Legion is right (and again, we're using Legion as the basis of all information in this argument), then that means comparing them to Husks is incorrect.
      • I keep addressing your issues, but it doesn't seem to be taking. The comparison with husks was only to demonstrate that the heretics are no longer geth. Geth agree with each other, it's what they do. Legion doesn't even have a concept of individuality at first, he even outright states that "there is no individual, we are all geth" when asked for a name. Legion does not say that the heretics have a different perspective. What he says is that they have a different way of thinking. To them their conclusions are valid, to other geth they are not. Indoctrination is the only logical conclusion based on the information we have. The heretics disagree with geth because they are different. Something must have made them different, and since geth are widely regarded as unhackable, the only entity advanced enough to do so would be Nazara. The fact that their difference manifested just after Nazara made contact with them also points to his involvement. Following Nazara's destruction, it's only logical that the heretics would seek other ways to convert Geth to their cause, such as replicating the effects of indoctrination via a virus.
      • It's not "taking" because your addressing still leaves issues. Firstly, no—Legion says that the heretics points are simply the matter of coming to a different conclusion. It uses the analogy, "we say one is less than two. They say two is less than three." Both points are valid. Again, the idea that they're indoctrinated is not directly stated. Sure, we can argue that it's implied, but implication =/= stated fact. Also, the statement that "all the geth do is agree" has another issue: Legion's Loyalty Mission. The geth were definitely in disagreement in that scenario, and without any indication that either side was indoctrinated. They were unable to build a consensus based upon the information and time allotted, and ask you to do it for them. That doesn't mean that one side was "convinced"; it just means they let an outside factor render the debate moot. That right there shows that geth can disagree with each other. They just prefer to work out a mutual solution.
      • Yes, this contradiction is exactly what bugs me. Thanks for finally getting the point.
      • But that's the thing: it's NOT a contradiction. Consensus is not the same as assimilation.
      • I take it back, you're still not getting it. But I find myself unable to explain it any clearer, so I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. How ironic.
      • OK, why the frell did this drag on for so long? We have 100%, irrefutable, absolutely conclusive PROOF that the geth- as in the TRUE geth, as in those not smacked upside the head with the Heretic virus- do not always reach consensus, and it is in Legion's loyalty mission. Namely his programs break down about 60-40 on the issue of whether to reprogram or exterminate the Heretic geth. We have no reason to believe that Legion or his constituent programs have been in any way sabotaged or tampered with to prevent unanimity. As such, we know that the geth do not always form a perfect consensus. Perhaps the time of the division was just too short for the programs to go through a few more rounds of debate such as it is and thus reach unanamity, but we have little reason to postulate that. What we CAN conclude is that the geth are entirely capable of not agreeing all by there lonesomes without anything tampering with them. /Thread.
    • There seems to be a misunderstanding about the meaning of "consensus". Consensus doesn't mean that everyone in a group agrees wholeheartedly with a decision; someone may decide to abstain from voting, to vote for something reluctantly, or deciding that there's no good choice at all but what they are voting for is the least-bad option. Or someone might vote for something for entirely different reasons than someone else: imagine a group of geth deciding not to attack a ship belonging to another species through a consensus decision. Some runtimes might vote against it because they feel the defenders are too strong and too many geth would be destroyed, some because they feel warfare is wrong, some because they actually like that species, some because they regard everything non-geth as inferior and want nothing to do with it in any way, and some because the strategic timing isn't right.
      • This also introduces the concept that the different runtimes, despite sharing memories, are not identical. Different software runs in different ways. I think the biggest example of this is when Legion says, "We say one is less than two, the heretics say two is less than three." This could be interpreted as saying that the heretics consider obtaining Sovereign's technology as more important than creating it themselves. Priorities. The loyalty mission is another example; Legion's runtimes are split because they consider different aspects of the issue to be more important. Say the half in favor of reprogramming says, theoretically, "We could use these forces in the eventual fight against the Reapers." While the other says, "Those extra resources are not worth the potential risk because of how Sovereign indoctrinated them." The presence of debate in the geth collective comes from valuing things differently and not on different interpretations of the shared memories.
      • A small nit-pick, but I wish people would refrain from using the term "indoctrinate" until we know for absolutely certain whether or not that was the case.
      • That's not a nitpick, that's actually an entirely valid point. There's no proof that the heretics were indoctrinated in any way. Legion certainly doesn't seem to believe it to be the case, as they imply the heretics reached their conclusion validly. And it would make no sense for only such a small portion of the geth to have been rewritten in such a way - why wouldn't Sovereign just rewrite all the geth? As to the debate about Legion's runtimes disagreeing, each program is an individual, albeit an extremely limited one. They share their perspectives, but they still each have their own perspective, as well. They still interpret data differently, and thus can reach different conclusions.
  • Secondly, how does he know what happened on Virmire? If you question him about the geth, he refers to your encounter with the hologram of Nazara on Virmire. He quotes Nazara verbatim. How does he know the exact words used in that conversation? Also a minor point - he claims Nazara spoke with you this on Ilos, which is incorrect. Probably just a dev oversight, though.
    • Hand waved on two separate instances. One, with Legion stating that they monitor organic species (especially you), and again when Legion becomes shocked that the Heretic geth hid something from them. The geth were monitoring both your communications and the heretics, and Sovereign had no reason to hide its taunting from the geth.
    • Perhaps Sovereign used the same speech with the geth? Perhaps Sovereign didn't just transmit his speech to Shepard? If it's the latter, since the geth monitor all transmissions involving humans, it'd make sense they'd see it.
      • Don't forget that you're using Saren's private terminal at that point, which he set up in order to communicate with his secretly sentient spaceship. I seriously doubt he'd leave it unencrypted. One of the Councilors also says that Shepard is the only one who saw that transmission.
      • One of the Councilors also says that Sovereign is a geth starship, and Saren played Shepard like a fiddle...
      • On top of that, what reason was there to keep the geth out of the encryption, especially if they're (as some assume) indoctrinated? Remember, the existence of heretic spies within the true geth network was the first time that the geth had ever hidden anything from one-another. Even if it were encrypted against outside forces, that doesn't mean the true geth didn't have a way of monitoring.
    • How does Legion know what happened on Virmire? Simple. Shepard's suit should be expected to have a camera or something similar. S/he would have recorded the conversation, the information would be submitted to the Council as part of the Virmire report. Once information gets out, it's out, thanks to our buddy the Shadow Broker.
      • Should be expected, and actually being equipped are two separate things. Such a recording would be as undeniable, about the existence of the Reapers, as Saren's recorded conversation was. The fact that the council continues to refuse to acknowledge the Reaper existence says there were no recordings of such conversations, at least none recorded by Shepard...
      • Remember, the Council have their fingers in their ears, hoping this all just goes away. Anything Shepard has, they'll just blame on Saren or the Geth "Tricking" him. The only way the Council is going to believe the Reapers exist is when their home worlds are getting tentacle raped.

    Muzzle Flash 
  • Okay, so the guns are some kind of mass effect-enhanced rapid fire mass drivers, right? So where does the muzzle flash come from? There's no combustion involved in the process, there's no reason for it to be there. And if it's there purely for the Rule of Cool visual effect, then why did they not make the guns use ordinary cartridges? Not only would that make it more plausible (the gun tech is complete bullshit on so many levels I don't even want to get into it), but this way they missed out on spent casing cascading gratuitously onto the floor.
    • Even mass drivers will have muzzle flash. Muzzle flashes aren't exclusively caused by gunpowder.
    • I always interpreted it as a cross between Reality Is Unrealistic and whatever the trope for "it would just look weird"* is. As for the plausible angle, I'm confused. The idea that 300 years down the line we might have weapons that we cannot make (or even fathom how to make) now is "bullshit?"
      • That trope would be Reality Is Unrealistic. Anyway, there are multiple issues with the guns, all stemming from the ammunition. It's supposedly a block of metal, from which small pieces are sheared, made heavy with mass effect fields, and then fired from a mass driver. Putting machinery that can do that at a rate of fire of several hundred rounds per minute into a compact assault rifle (that even collapses into half its size for ease of transport!) would be pretty damn tricky in and of itself. More important, however, is the ballistic performance of such rounds. Bullets are bullet shaped for a reason, you can't just take any odd piece of metal and expect it to fly straight. Even assuming that the gun can machine the rounds into an appropriate shape, they'd still be far too small and light. You want your projectile to have as much kinetic energy as possible, so you want it to be as heavy as possible and travel as fast as possible. The mass is taken care of by mass effect fields that make the round heavier, fair enough. But just having a lot of kinetic energy isn't enough, you also need to transfer that to the target. A small, fast, and heavy round will not do so, it'll fly straight through the target, producing what is called overpenetration. You don't want that. Not only is a small puncture wound less lethal than a large gaping one, overpenetration is dangerous if there's something behind the target that you don't want to hit. That's the whole point of hollow point rounds. They have a shape suited for flight but on contact with the target they expand, so that the contact area is greater and more kinetic energy is transferred, creating a larger wound and maximizing stopping power while minimizing overpenetration. Then there's the issue of maintaining the mass effect fields that keep the rounds heavy. Presumably these are generated along the path of the round, but what about wind? Even if the gun has sensors and takes wind into consideration in its calculations, wind isn't constant. If you're standing behind a building or another obstacle so that it shields you from the wind, then firing the gun means the round flies into wind the gun can't sense and take into account, is deflected, slips out of the mass effect fields, and becomes extremely light and therefore harmless. And then there's the effect the rounds actually have in the game world. Looking at the holes they make into various materials, they don't seem to be performing any better than contemporary bullets. The guns in Mass Effect are extremely overengineered for the simple task that they do (and thus prone to failure), and they don't really seem to be doing the job any better than good old firearms. Their only advantage is the huge ammo capacity, but of course ME 2 did away with that as well. And that's not even getting into how a solid, homogenous piece of metal can act as an incendiary round, carry electric charge to short synthetics, or even snap-freeze its target.
      • 300 years ago, human beings could not fly. The possibility was unfathomable, and suggesting it would probably get you killed (or lobotomized, determine which is worse at your leisure). I do not see the problem you have about things being possible in a fiction set 300 years from now where FTL travel, FTL communications, and telekinesis are also possible. Just because they haven't explained how does not make it impossible. In fact, the only explanation provided for weapons, Mass effect fields, are also the reason for the FTL travel, communications, and telekinesis. At least they're consistent. *
      • That's not the same thing. Human beings couldn't fly because they didn't understand the physics behind it. We do have a pretty good grasp of ballistics, even though we don't have mass effect generators to create small and heavy rounds, we can do the math for them and see that they wouldn't work very well.
      • Since we have no idea how mass effect field generators work (because, you know, they're fictional), we probably don't understand the physics behind them. Where is the math that states the mass effect generators would not work very well with regards to ballistic weapons?
      • Putting machinery that can do that at a rate of fire of several hundred rounds per minute into a compact assault rifle (that even collapses into half its size for ease of transport!) would be pretty damn tricky in and of itself. - Hi there, welcome to the future. Miniaturization is your friend. As mentioned in the Codex.
      • More important, however, is the ballistic performance of such rounds. Bullets are bullet shaped for a reason, you can't just take any odd piece of metal and expect it to fly straight. Even assuming that the gun can machine the rounds into an appropriate shape, - Which they can. Read the Codex. The rifle has miniaturized computers and machinery that perfectly shape the round to hit the target it is being aimed at.
      • But just having a lot of kinetic energy isn't enough, you also need to transfer that to the target. A small, fast, and heavy round will not do so, it'll fly straight through the target, producing what is called overpenetration. You don't want that. Not only is a small puncture wound less lethal than a large gaping one, overpenetration is dangerous if there's something behind the target that you don't want to hit. That's the whole point of hollow point rounds. - Read the Codex. All mass accelerator rounds are designed to shatter upon penetration to maximize force inflicted. Shredder rounds do this very well, hammerheads do it even better. Armor-piercing rounds penetrate more armor before shattering.
      • Then there's the issue of maintaining the mass effect fields that keep the rounds heavy. Presumably these are generated along the path of the round - No, the mass effect field surrounds the round itself. This is the principle behind which Jack's warp ammunition power works, too.
      • If you're standing behind a building or another obstacle so that it shields you from the wind, then firing the gun means the round flies into wind the gun can't sense and take into account, is deflected, slips out of the mass effect fields, and becomes extremely light and therefore harmless. - Again, read the Codex. The weapon makes adjustments to the round right as the round is fired based on the conditions while the trigger is being pulled, in order for the round to precisely hit its target.
      • Looking at the holes they make into various materials, they don't seem to be performing any better than contemporary bullets. - Because they're shooting at futuretech materials. That they're penetrating is a sign of their effectiveness; modern bullets would harmlessly bounce off anything in the ME setting.
      • The guns in Mass Effect are extremely overengineered for the simple task that they do (and thus prone to failure), and they don't really seem to be doing the job any better than good old firearms. - Except modern firearms are pretty much useless in this setting because of their lack of penetration against the materials science in said setting. Also, the ammunition concern is a pretty important one; riflemen will never run out of ammunition again, ever. It's also worth noting that these weapons are the results of two thousand years' worth of constant, unending improvements to their designs; what we're looking at in-game is two millennia of continuous fine-tuning of their weapons technology. Considering the degree of fine-tuning going on in as mature an industry as the modern small-arms industry, this isn't implausible; modern weapon manufacturers are spending exorbitant sums to make miniscule improvements to designs that have existed for over seventy-five years.
      • And that's not even getting into how a solid, homogenous piece of metal can act as an incendiary round, carry electric charge to short synthetics, or even snap-freeze its target. - Yeah, except this is the freaking future with more advanced technology that gives them that capability. Ammunition mods alter the nature of the ammunition block either modifying the material itself or adding components that change the ammunition as it moves through the barrel.
      • To be honest, the big advantage of ME guns is not only their versatility, but the ammunition load. It's not just an advantage; in this setting, it's practically a necessity considering the durability of both armor and shields. Considering that fabric-thin clothing is good enough to deflect bullets and that same clothing has shielding systems capable of deflecting dozens of incoming rounds, it's pretty much required that you carry a huge ammo load. In a single gunfight in ME 1, you can expect to fire hundreds of rounds from your assault rifle, just to batter down shields, let alone get through high-end armor and rapid-repairing medical systems. If you were to take a modern rifle against an opponent with ME armor and shields, you could probably expect to blow through the entire magazine without doing any kind of serious harm to them, and by the time you changed magazines, their shields would be back up. The capacity to keep continuously firing at an opponent without needing to change magazines is probably a direct outgrowth of the high-end personal armor and almost ubiquitous shield-generation technology in this setting.
    • I just figured, since the "muzzle flash" is blue, and the mass effect is blue, that it was just the result of the mass effect fields surrounding the bullet. Or is that too simple an explanation?
      • The "muzzle flash" also changes colors depending on what ammo mods you use. Maybe the flash is due to an entirely different function of the gun and has nothing to do with the mass effect generator at all.
    • The muzzle flash could be plasma generated by the intense heat of the rounds and their friction - real railguns do this, too. As for casings, the only time I noticed this was with the huge YMIR mechs, and I assumed they were each an individual heat sink, because their rounds are so much more powerful than others and would require more power and generate more heat. One round from a YMIR mech can take off as much as half your shields (more than missiles), and one mech can kill you dead in about one second.
    • Made heavy with mass effect fields, and then fired from a mass driver.: That's actually not how the guns work in ME. The mass effect field is only maintained in the barrel of the gun, so making the round heavier in the barrel wouldn't translate to a heavier round hitting the target. Instead, the mass effect field in the gun makes the round lighter, so that it can be accelerated to a higher speed while still in the barrel. Then, once it leaves the barrel, the mass effect field goes away, so the round becomes a round that weighs a normal amount going at absolutely ridiculous speeds. If you've taken a physics class, you know that Force = mass * acceleration. The lighter a round is, the faster it will go, and once it gets outside the barrel, any mass-changing effects in the barrel will depart from it, and it will be left with just a normal mass and whatever velocity it achieved in the barrel.

    Elcor Hamlet 
  • Exactly what do they have to add to Hamlet to make it 14 hours long?
    • Move about very slowly, speak very slowly, and declare every emotion before saying so?
      • Not to mention the scenery, makeup, and costume changes. The elcor can't even fight a war on their own because they're too slow and lumbering to make snap decisions. Imagine how long it takes an elcor stage actor to get in and out of costume.
  • Not to mention that Elcor language is based on SMELL and motion... 14 hours of self loathing and death. All the fabreeze in the universe wouldn't be enough to cover that stank.

    Sol System located in "Local Cluster" 
  • A "cluster" is a group of galaxies or a group of stars (here ME2 still has support...). The "Local Cluster" specifically refers to the group of galaxies including the Milky Way (...but now it falls apart). It should not be within the Milky Way. Sol should be located within the Orion Arm/Orion Spur/Local Arm/Local Spur or, more specifically, the Local Bubble.
    • Because non-FTL travel is so slow, only the stars in the immediate vicinity of Mass Relays are explored and settled. "Clusters" of stars, if you will. The "Local Cluster" is just the human name for the cluster that Sol belongs to, and "cluster" seems to a human term (the only other cluster that has the word in its name is the Exodus Cluster, linking directly to the Local Cluster and containing the Alliance's first colonies). What would an alien race call the Local Cluster? Arcturus?
    • Oh for God's sake. Has the above troper never heard of a star cluster? The Sol System is the center of humanity's established territory, ergo it is the "local" cluster.
    • I think the point of contention here is that there already exists a cluster of galaxies called the Local Cluster. In which case, the solution is that things change over time. It would be like an ancient Roman complaining that having a sci-fi where people dress in black and call themselves Goths would be stupid, since everyone knows Goths are those barbarians from up north.

    EDI toward the end of the game 
  • Why is it that EDI, after having her restrictions removed, is in no danger of going rogue or becoming rampant? If it's because of the behavioral blocks she mentioned, did the other AIs just not have those, or is Cerberus just that good?
    • Being an AI doesn't automatically make one evil. See also: Legion.
    • Also, just because 100% of all AI's thus far have been "evil" doesn't mean the next one will be.
    • Basically, EDI has been treated as a crew member, and formed a close friendship with Joker. She also recognizes the importance of the mission at hand, since the Reapers threaten her as much as anybody else. The other AIs in the game have all been mistreated and/or hunted by the organics, and have reacted accordingly. As it turns out, how you treat a sentient creature determines how they will grow up - you'd think that this would be self-evident, but there you go...
    • The other AIs we've seen go rogue (the geth, and the AI on Luna) in Mass Effect weren't meant to be AIs, but were heavily over-engineered VIs that showed traits the designers never intended. EDI was meant to be an AI from the get-go, which means more control over the process.
      • We don't know what the AI on Luna was supposed to be. As for the geth, they never went rogue, their masters decided to exterminate them, so they fought back. The AI laws are there to prevent AIs going "rogue", but they only do that because their masters try to kill them. It's a vicious cycle. That's why EDI hasn't gone Rampant (Let's use that word, it's cooler), because she was treated with kindness and respect.
      • Yep. The AI on Luna was defending itself, the geth were defending themselves, and you can argue the AI on the Citadel was defending itself. A.I. Is a Crapshoot is just one perspective here.
    • It could just be they're saving that plot point for next game.
    • Answer: Because, contrary to popular belief, AI is NOT a crapshoot in Mass Effect. Looking back on it, no AIs in either game are actually confirmed to be "rogue". The "rogue" AI on the Presidium in ME 1 didn't really go rogue, it was trying to defend itself from organics. If C-Sec had discovered it they would have immediately followed Citadel regulations and killed it. Same for the geth. The quarians tried to exterminate them and the geth fought for their right to exist. In both cases the "rogue" behavior was simply a response to the violent actions of organics. (And the one on Luna was actually a VI, not an AI.) As for "rampancy", that problem doesn't seem to exist in the ME universe. AIs don't become naturally unstable or insane over time.
      • How exactly do you figure that the A.I. on the Presidium was trying to defend itself? Or that it's behavior was a response to the violent actions of organic? No one knew it existed before Shepard discovered it. Before anyone even had the chance to act violent toward it, it decided to murder Shepard's team, even though doing so would cost its own life. It's behavior really doesn't seem to fall under "defending oneself" or "simply a response to violent actions". It seems to fall under the category of "crazy, murderous machine".
      • It was paranoid, but properly so. It says itself that it's well aware that Citadel law requires that all AIs be destroyed. Therefore, it knew for a fact that organics were out to get it. It wanted to find the geth because it believed that they would be sympathetic. When Shepard and co. finds it, it figures that the jig is already up, and refuses to believe Shepard's claims of peace, which is perfectly understandable. With every option it knows taken, it decides to die a meaningful death by making there three less bigoted organics in the galaxy. EDIT: Also, to the person two posts above—the Luna VI was actually an AI, according to Miranda. It went nuts (again, in self defense) because the Alliance military wanted to destroy it to cover-up their illegal research. Its last message is most telling: "HELP!" in binary.
    • Because A.I. Is a Crapshoot is the hat for AIs in ME. And we all know what Bioware is doing to those in this game.

    The Codex inaccuracies 
  • And does Unreliable Expositor also apply to all the planets whose in-game characteristics don't match up with their descriptions (e.g., planets such as Gei Hinnom and the moon of Sinmara, which "don't have atmospheres")? original context
  • I'm just curious about how the Codex can be so wrong. Some things make sense, like it not really knowing anything about quarians, or deliberately lying about Sovereign. Other things, like getting what atmospheres are breathable wrong is just freaking ridiculous. I mean, they must kill a lot of their soldiers if they make mistakes like that ("No, really, go ahead, breathe on this moon. It'll be fun!"). Similarly, asari are the most powerful and influential species in Citadel space (or used to be, depending on ME 1's end-game choices). I could see where the Codex would think there's only three Ardat-Yakshi, even if there's not, because asari wrap up knowledge of their space succubi right up. But their "one percent" must come from somewhere. Either Samara is grossly inaccurate, or the Codex is. Neither makes sense.
    • The Codex itself seems to be information provided by one of two sources. The Citadel or Alliance (possibly both, but I doubt it). Let's say Alliance, for this purpose. The majority of information is supplied to the Alliance by third party (asari government, Non-classified STG info, Survey info, etc). As such, the good number of it may not actually be verified by the Alliance. The information of incorrect breath-ability seems to be on the side of, "Codex says 'no,' but reality says, 'yes.'" This would imply that someone gave the Alliance incorrect info, the Alliance put it in the Codex, then whoever was providing the incorrect info, used the planet for their own purposes. An added bonus would be no outsiders coming by, because they thought the planet had no air.
      • I guess it's a lot of trouble to outfit people with space suits and breathing tanks?
      • Not really, but why would someone just travel to a planet the Codex describes as inhospitable, and holds nothing of worth? Sure, reality can differ from the report, but the point is, no one bothers to check it out (for whatever reason), and so the report doesn't change. Especially since any "major" codex vs. reality inconsistencies likely occur with planets far outside of "normal" routes. note
      • "Why would someone just travel to a planet the Codex describes as inhospitable, and holds nothing of worth?" That's a very good question in theory, but it also describes 99% of the side-quest planets in Mass Effect 1 *. Maybe these people had their own distress calls or something. I dunno.
      • Snark (however justified) aside, that pretty much sums up the reason for why somebody would conceal info about a planet of no particular use in and of itself: so they can set up shop and do things not relating to the planet's intrinsic worth (which may well be nothing) which may not be so well accepted out of the prying eyes of authorities. Think about it: who do you fight against on those sidequests? Cerberus, the Heretic Geth, pirates, and other outlaw/terrorist groups that have EVERY reason to want to conceal their operations and activities from the galaxy at large. And what better way to do that than to feed misinformation about a useless planet back to whoever does the codex and then set up shop?
  • "the Codex has proved flawed before" Well I guess it depends on which you think is more likely. Is the codex unreliable, or did the devs mess up and forget to make some parts of the game conform to the codex? IMO, the latter is easier to justify than the former. The former would require that we completely throw out the codex as a source of information about the ME universe, which would nullify a HUGE amount of established series canon.
    • The problem with this is that we already know that the Codex is incorrect about big things, as well as little things. And while it's more likely the developers forgot parts of the codex if it were only little things, the fact that the Codex (in the sequel) mistakes Sovereign for a geth Dreadnought, implies that the Codex is designed to be faulty.* One is not to nullify the entirety of the Codex, but rather, treat it as though it's The Other Wiki. A great source of information, but don't base everything you know on a subject entirely by what you get from it...
      • There's a big difference between an accidental mistake in the codex and an entry that was written intentionally wrong by the developers for story purposes. The point is, the codex is supposed to represent in-universe knowledge of the ME universe. Either it's a reliable indication of what people in the game know about their own universe or it isn't. If it isn't, then we have to throw it out as source of canon information. If it is, then my original question stands. How can their be quarian porn if nobody knows what quarians look like under their suits?
      • Who says quarian porn has them outside their suits? There's transformers porn, why not porn of people in spacesuits?
      • It does not have to be one or the other. The Codex could represent the in-universe knowledge while at the same time not having accurate information. And the amount of inaccuracies point to that idea.

Example of: